NYC Cops Busted in $1M Perfume Heist

Perfume warehouse employees knew something didn't smell right.

March 05, 2010, 2:47 PM

NEWARK, N.J. March 5, 2010— -- The employees of a New Jersey warehouse knew something didn't smell right when two New York City cops ordered a bunch of day laborers to load hundreds of boxes of perfumes valued at $1 million into a fleet of rented vans.

Two members of the gang were busted by Carlstadt, N.J., police last month as they tried to flee the warehouse after a call had been placed to 911.

The two New York City police officers, Richard LeBlanca, 25, and Brian Checo, 24, were arrested today.

The details of the case were released by the office of U.S. District Attorney Paul J. Fishman

According to the federal complaint, the seven men rented five trucks in Brooklyn and Jersey City on Feb. 9. The trucks and 16 day laborers were driven to the New Jersey warehouse of InStyle USA, a perfume distributor.

According to the federal complaint, LeBlanca and Checo entered the warehouse office yelling "NYPD! Hands up!" brandishing firearms and displaying law enforcement badges.

LeBlanca and Checo, who were aided by Gabriel Vargas, 31, and Orlando Garcia, 35, and another conspirator, restrained approximately 11 company employees and claimed they were performing a routine "inspection" of the company.

While holding the 11 employees "hostage," the complaint charges that four members of the gang -- Luis R. Morales, 31, Anselmo Jimenes, 29, Alan A. Bannout, 23, and one man who hasn't been identified -- along with the day laborers, loaded hundreds of boxes containing high end perfumes into the rental trucks.

Carlstadt police officers, who rushed to the warehouse receiving a 911 call, arrested Morales and Jimenes after their unsuccessful attempts to flee.

The officers also seized two of the five trucks.

Accused Cops in Jewelry Heist Could Face 20 Years in Prison

The total retail value of perfume was estimated at $1 million. One of the warehouse employees also claimed that they took a DVR recording device and monitor, and approximately $3,000 to $4,000 in cash that was contained in the cash drawer.

"An armed robbery is an extremely serious federal crime, particularly when it is orchestrated and perpetuated by officers sworn to uphold the very laws that they are alleged to have violated," Fishman said. "The officers' actions, if proven true, would constitute nothing less than the ultimate betrayal of the trust afforded these officers."

If convicted, the officers face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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