Former cop pleads guilty to bribery

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) -- A former New York police officer has admitted accepting cash payments in exchange for permitting the transport of prescription drug trafficking proceeds through Westchester County Airport.

Federal prosecutors said 36-year-old Michael Brady, who worked for the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, pleaded guilty Thursday in Bridgeport, Conn., to bribery and extortion.

Authorities say Brady received about $20,000 in cash payments from a trafficker of the painkiller oxycodone to ensure he could carry large quantities of cash, the proceeds of his drug trafficking, through airport security.

Brady faces up to 20 years in prison on the extortion charge and 15 years on the bribery count when he is sentenced May 10.

A Florida state trooper and three federal Transportation Security Administration officers also were charged and their cases are pending.

The case stemmed from "Operation Blue Coast," an investigation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration into the large-scale trafficking of oxycodone pills from Florida to Connecticut.

The investigation revealed that an individual regularly purchased oxycodone from suppliers in Florida, transported the oxycodone to Connecticut by airline or car, and sold the pills to Connecticut-based narcotics traffickers. The narcotics trafficker traveled from Florida to Connecticut several times a week carrying up to 8,000 oxycodone pills per trip, prosecutors said.

In December 2010, the drug trafficker called Brady at the Westchester Airport and told him that he had been placed into a TSA secondary search due to a large quantity of cash that he was carrying, authorities said. Brady approached the screening area where the trafficker was being screened, inquired about why the individual was being searched and vouched for his legitimacy, prosecutors said

"This defendant, a sworn law enforcement officer, took cash from a known drug dealer to allow the drug dealer to travel safely through airport security," said U.S. Attorney David Fein. "I commend the DEA Task Force for shutting down a pipeline of highly-addictive prescription pills from Florida to Connecticut, and for bringing to justice this corrupt officer and others who contributed to the illegal scheme."

Brady was arrested last September and resigned in November.

"He was up to this very unfortunate chapter in his career a very dedicated and honest public servant," his attorney, Joseph Sorrentino, said Wednesday.