Friday, January 11, 2013

Bronx fake-cop theft ring used car sporting 'James Bond'-style device to hide license plate

A brazen band of robbers who allegedly posed as cops to rip off drug dealers got busted in The Bronx with a fake unmarked police car sporting a “James Bond”-style device to hide its license plate.

The Ford Crown Victoria, which also has low-profile flashing lights, has a special button that lets the driver activate a retractable piece of steel to cover its rear plate, a source told The Post.

The car was among a huge stash of phony law-enforcement gear seized during the take-down, including a police badge, four shirts emblazoned with the word “POLICE,” two tactical vests like cops wear, a set of metal handcuffs and multiple plastic zip-tie handcuffs, a hydraulic battering ram and a “rabbit pump” that cops used to break down doors.  

The haul of dozens of items, which also included six loaded handguns, is believed to be the largest of its kind ever recovered from a theft crew of fake cops.

Manhattan DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian Crowell called the crooks “extremely violent, armed and sophisticated,” saying they “tried to conceal themselves as cops to rob, steal and plunder.

“They were the drug world’s version of a James Bond-style robbery crew,” Crowell added.

A source told The Post the DEA is investigating whether a New Jersey cop is tied to those arrested. Court papers say 16 ring members were nabbed Tuesday night following a sting operation in which a confidential informant duped alleged ringleader Javion Camacho, 26, into thinking they could intercept and steal a massive shipment of heroin.

During a Dec. 17 meeting in a Manhattan restaurant, Camacho, a reputed Latin Kings member from New Jersey known as “King Kong,” told the informant he had a “crew of police impersonators who would be able to carry out the robbery,” according to the Manhattan federal-court complaint.

During another meeting at the restaurant on Jan. 2, the informant said the drug shipment could total 40 kilos, prompting Camacho’s older brother, Julio -- also a reputed Latin King known as “King Honesty” -- to allegedly remark that they could “take over Jersey City” with that much heroin.

Julio, 27, also asked the informant if it was OK if the intended robbery victims “got ‘laid out’”-- meaning killed -- the complaint says.

On Tuesday night, Javion allegedly told the informant “that there was a police officer on the robbery crew in case they needed to shoot someone,” but the feds said none of those arrested were actually cops.

After he was arrested, Javion -- who in 2007 was convicted on a reduced charge in the fatal shooting of his cousin -- admitted he had been caught “red-handed,” court papers say.           

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