01/09/2001

Suspected cop killer
gets 92-year prison sentence;
murder trials still pending
[New York, NY]

PoliceOne Staff Report
(NEW YORK ) -- A career criminal awaiting trial for the slaying of an off-duty officer and the killing of a detective's brother received a 92-year prison sentence for selling a pound of cocaine to undercover officers in 1999.

Henry Vega, 34, was handed the sentence Monday in Queens Supreme Court. In sending him to prison for what could amount to the rest of his life, State Supreme Court Justice Randall Eng told Vega that he was a drug dealing "merchant of death."

The newspaper reported that Vega still faces trial for the killing of two other men.

One was off duty New York City Police Officer George Scheu. Investigators charge that in July 1987, Vega murdered the officer in front of his Brooklyn home while attempting to steal the officer's car.

Linda Scheu, the widow of the slain officer, was in court for the drug sentencing and told a Daily News reporter that she was relieved Vega was heading for a prison cell.

"It's a relief to know he's off the streets and can't kill anyone else," the mother of three told the newspaper. "It's slime off the streets."

Vega and another suspect are also accused of the 1996 slaying of Joseph Hill, the brother of a New York City police detective. Prosecutors charge that Vega and the other suspect robbed and killed the victim for the $600 he had just won in a football betting pool.

On the narcotics charges, Vega was handed four consecutive 23-years-to-life sentences, the Daily News reported.

Vega had sold the cocaine on four occasions in 1999 to undercover officers posing as organized crime members, the newspaper reported.

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