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Ex-NYPD cop among trio busted on gun, drug charges

A former NYPD officer has been charged in a drug and weapons ring that involved stealing from his Queens precinct, the Nassau district attorney said Tuesday. DA Kathleen Rice said former Officer Hubertus

News 12 Staff

Nov 20, 2007, 11:15 PM

Updated 6,082 days ago

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A former NYPD officer has been charged in a drug and weapons ring that involved stealing from his Queens precinct, the Nassau district attorney said Tuesday.
DA Kathleen Rice said former Officer Hubertus "Dutch" Vannes, of Roslyn Heights, would steal weapons from the evidence room and resell them. According to Rice, Vannes was also involved in the sale of prescription drugs.
"Vannes has tarnished the name of his honest colleagues and he has placed our community in danger," Rice said at a news conference.
His alleged co-conspirator, Anthony Vitta, of East Meadow, also faces charges for selling the weapons and powerful painkillers obtained from pharmacy owner Howard Brass, of North Bellmore.
Brass faces charges for allegedly filling fake prescriptions written by a doctor who died in 2004. He is also accused of defrauding insurance companies and reporting a fake robbery at his Meadow Drugs store to cover his tracks.
The investigation started in February 2007 when Nassau police received a tip about Vitta. Undercover officers said they purchased two weapons from Vitta at his home. Investigators also said they observed Vitta selling Vicodin, Oxycodone and other painkillers.
Police said Vitta's arrest during a Nov. 13 traffic violation led them to Vannes and Brass, who were subsequently arrested.Vannes, who faces a maximum of 26 and a half years in prison if convicted, is due back in court Nov. 21. He resigned from the NYPD earlier this year. Brass is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 5 and Vitta was ordered to return to court Dec. 7.


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