by Bruce Lambert, New York Times
Four police officers from three New York-area agencies have
been arrested on charges involving the sale and use of cocaine and
anabolic steroids, Suffolk County authorities announced yesterday.
Ten other people they associated with were also arrested on drug
charges, officials said.
More officers may be implicated for failing to report illicit
drug activity by colleagues, said the Suffolk County district
attorney, Thomas J. Spota, during a news conference in Brentwood.
Those cases may be handled with disciplinary proceedings rather
than criminal charges, said the Suffolk police commissioner, John
Investigators characterized the operation as an informal
arrangement among a network of acquaintances rather than as a
major drug ring. But the sales were still profitable, the
authorities said, although they did not give specific
"They made it a lucrative business," said Detective Lawrence
Boyle of the Suffolk County police. "They were essentially making
a living selling drugs."
The four arrested officers, two of whom are brothers, had
parties together at their homes and on skiing trips, investigators
said. They also described the defendants as being fanatical about
The investigation began with a tip about suspected drug
activity involving one of the officers, Thomas Foley of the
Suffolk County police, the authorities said.
To keep the inquiry secret, Suffolk officials said they went
outside the county for help from the internal affairs staff of the
New York Police Department. Wiretaps uncovered the involvement of
three other officers, the authorities said.
The arrested officers are Officer Foley, 30, of Hauppauge; his
brother, James, 25, also of Hauppauge and a state trooper in
Stormville; Officer Michael Christy, 32, a state trooper based in
Valley Stream; and Sgt. Robert Grettler, 34, of the New York
Police Department, who lives in Medford.
Thomas Foley and Sergeant Grettler were arrested and arraigned
on Tuesday. They were charged with felony counts of narcotics
sales, which carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. James
Foley and Officer Christy were booked yesterday and charged with
conspiracy to sell narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of
The officers did not engage in crimes while on duty or use
their positions to seize drugs from dealers or get confidential
information about drug enforcement, officials said.
Among the civilians arrested were Thomas Newman, 29, the owner
of the World Gym in Ronkonkoma and the Midnite Sun tanning salon
in Bohemia, where investigators said some drug sales took places.
Other sites included nightclubs, parties and homes, they
Thomas Foley, who was honored as a Cop of the Month by the
Suffolk County Police Department three years ago, has been on
medical leave because of a work-related injury. Sergeant Grettler
has been on modified duty because of a domestic dispute with his
girlfriend, city police officials said.
Officer Christy was suspended for 15 days earlier this year for
fighting with another officer. All four officers are suspended
from duty without pay, and they face departmental charges as well
as criminal prosecution, the authorities said.