NYPD sergeants caught stealing cash from suspect

by Abdulhaqq Obisesan Oladimeji

Two former police officers have been convicted by Manhattan juries of stealing cash from a suspect they arrested in an “integrity test” sting staged by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, prosecutors said Thursday.

Officer Joseph Stokes, 42, stole $4,800, and his partner, Jose Aracena, 37, separately grabbed $220 in a 2019 drunken driving bust on the Lower East Side, according to prosecutors.

Stokes was convicted of felony grand larceny and official misconduct last month, while a second jury found Aracena guilty of petit larceny and official misconduct, both misdemeanors, Thursday.

Both cops were dismissed from the police force in June, a NYPD spokesperson said.

The duo pulled over an undercover officer pretending to be a drunk driver in October 2019 at the corner of Stanton St. and Orchard St..

Stokes found $4,800 in several “stash” cans that look like Arizona fruit punch and soda in the undercover’s car, authorities said.

He claimed he tossed the cans into a passing garbage truck and didn’t voucher the money, prosecutors said. But he was caught on video hiding the cans under his car in the 7th Precinct parking lot, police said. Two cash-filled cans were found by cops later that day.

A hidden camera inside the undercover cop’s car recorded Aracena, 35, taking $220 from inside, prosecutors said.

“These two officers, believing nobody was watching, attempted to use their positions of power to get away with blatant theft,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement Thursday.

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