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May 19, 2006
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N.Y. officer charged with conspiracy to steal cocaine

The Associated Press

NEW YORK- A New York City police officer was indicted Thursday on charges that she conspired to steal cocaine from drug stash houses in Manhattan, the federal government announced.

Kirsix De La Cruz, a police officer since 1995, was charged in an indictment in U.S. District Court in Manhattan that also charged two men and sought the forfeiture of $5 million (euro3.92 million) in illegal proceeds, prosecutors and the FBI said.

De La Cruz, who had registered to take the police department sergeant's examination at the time of the alleged crimes, could face up to life in prison if convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to commit robbery.

A complaint filed in court alleged that De La Cruz last July arranged for a co-conspirator not named in the complaint to rob drug stash houses around Manhattan and to split the proceeds with De La Cruz and another man.

On July 13, the FBI arrested the co-conspirator and seized his loaded gun and a backpack containing about 6 kilograms of cocaine worth more than $100,000 (euro78,310), the complaint said.

The cocaine had been stolen by the co-conspirator and another man from a drug stash apartment in Manhattan, authorities said.

De La Cruz was arrested on April 26 and was expected to appear in court Monday for an arraignment.

David Stern, a lawyer for De La Cruz, did not immediately return a telephone call for comment.

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