Hauppauge - (WALK) A 25-year Suffolk police veteran is accused of stopping Hispanic drivers and shaking them down for cash, according to county prosecutors.
Sergeant Scott A. Greene, 50, of Shirley, pleaded not guilty to charges of official misconduct and larceny Friday. Greene was arrested Thursday evening during a sting operation, according to District Attorney Thomas Spota.
An investigation into alleged police robberies of Hispanic men began after victims complained several months ago about being stopped in the Farmingville area and robbed of cash from their pay envelopes.
Prosecutors say the sting employed an undercover officer of Hispanic heritage who was driving on Granny Road in Coram in a car outfitted with surveillance cameras. "The license plate of the car was intentionally left dangling," said Spota.
Surveillance video shows Sgt. Greene, pulling his patrol car up to the detective's vehicle, then stopping the vehicle on Granny Road, about a half mile east of Mill Road, Coram.
Greene is then recorded while instructing the driver to stand outside the vehicle, then taking a $100 bill from an envelope containing a dozen $100 bills on the passenger side front seat, and slipping the bill into the cuff of his shirt. The cash was covered with a detection-powder found on Greene's hands and uniform at the time of his arrest, said Spota.
Greene was paid a base salary of $127,660 and $19,537 in overtime in 2012, according to county records. He was suspended without pay and his ordered to turn over his badge and police-issue weapon.
Suffolk police and prosecutors say their investigation continues, and urge anyone who may be a victim to call police at 631-852-6374 or 631-852-6263.