Three New York City detectives were indicted Monday for stealing thousands of dollars worth of champagne at last year’s Electric Zoo Music Festival, a popular electronic musical event that draws thousands. They were assigned to the event to stop drug activity, the New York Times reported.
Two of them, Jonathan Gonzalez and Wojciech Czech, are accused of stealing pricey “Ace of Spades” champagne from a table in a V.I.P. area. The other, Warren Golden, is charged with not stopping them, the Times said.
The three were working narcotics enforcement in the exclusive area, according to court documents, when a table of fans stepped away. Gonzalez grabbed two unopened bottles and placed them on another table. He left to get a backpack and when he got back Czech handed him the two bottles, which were worth about $2,900, WNBC reported.
One of the people who ordered the champagne saw what happened, and when the party returned, the detectives left the area, the Times said.
The detectives, carrying the backpack, tried to enter a restricted, staff-only area, but a security officer stopped them. Gonzales said they were police officers and should be allowed in, but that’s when the people who ordered the champagne showed up and accused them of stealing.
The security officer checked the backpack and contacted his boss, who notified NYPD, the Times said.
Gonzalez and Czech were charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen property, both felonies, while Gonzalez was charged with misdemeanor official misconduct. Golden faces the misdemeanor official misconduct charge as well, according to WNBC.
The district attorney was not pleased.
“In addition to the alleged theft that occurred, none of these officers stepped up and stopped this activity. Public confidence in the criminal justice system depends on members of law enforcement acting with the utmost integrity while on duty and following the same rules that apply to everyone else,” Manhattan District Attorney Bragg said Monday.
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