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Two New York City officers are out of the force after they were caught accepting thousands of dollars to carry ‘high-level prostitutes’ to and from hotel links in a complicated operation in which other police officers impersonated by prostitutes, New York police officials said.
Agents Thomas Diorio and Michael Sardone led the undercover escorts around the city to meet the ‘clients’ at hotels between April 9 and May 14, according to internal disciplinary records.wikipedia
The couple allegedly accepted $ 8,000 in total, $ 4,000 for the first round trip and $ 2,000 each for the next two.
Diorio, a 21-year veteran of the department, was fired on August 21, while Sardone, who joined the force in 2011, withdrew amid the investigation.
It is unclear if they will face criminal charges.
The rogue cops, who worked in the 106th district in Queens, which serves the Ozone Park, Lindenwood and Howard Beach neighborhoods, were caught by an ‘extended integrity test’, a sting operation that included other officers who were posted as prostitutes and clients.
The operation began in February as part of an “unrelated” investigation into Sardone, according to a firing order signed by New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea in August. It is not clear what that investigation was about.
Sardone texted and spoke to an undercover officer posing as a prostitute, who asked if he was interested in replacing his regular driver, who was ill, according to disciplinary records.
On April 6, Sardone told him that he knew of another officer who could help them escort them to and from their encounters.
We are not street girls, you know? We are like high-end, ‘the undercover officer assured Diorio.
Later, he and Sardone discussed logistics and payment over the phone and during an in-person meeting with an undercover officer at a Starbucks, which was captured on video.
The undercover officer said that he would meet with a high-level client for an hour and a half.wikipedia
On April 9, officers met three undercover policewomen in the parking lot of a restaurant in Queens and drove them to a Manhattan hotel, records show.
Hotel room in Queens to help squash an argument between undercover prostitutes and a ‘client’ who didn’t want to pay
“Upon his arrival, a male undercover officer, posing as the customer, approached [Diorio] and Sardone out of the vehicle and gave each a $ 100 tip,” police said.
“When they were ready to be picked up, [an undercover officer] texted Sardone, and they were all taken back to the restaurant parking lot, where the undercover officer handed over the remaining two thousand dollars to Sardone and [Diorio]” .
Officers were paid $ 2,000 for another trip to Manhattan on April 23.
Undercover agents tested their acting skills on May 14 after Diorio and Sardone took two undercover ‘hookers’ to a Queens hotel.
“She explained to them that it was a new customer and asked them to be ready to go up to the room, which they agreed to do,” police said.
One of the undercover agents texted Sardone and urged him and Diorio to climb the stairs, where the women “pretended” to argue with a “john,” another agent posing as a customer, about the payment. .
Can we fix this so we can get out of here? I mean it was talked about before, so let’s pay his money, ” Diorio said during the filmed encounter, according to police.
The fake John handed Diorio $ 1,000 and told him that he “looks like a tough guy.”
One of the officers said she was removing her ‘coke’ and took several sachets of white powder from the fake customer.
The next day, Sardone told him that they were still interested in the job, but that they “preferred that narcotics not get into the vehicle in case they were stopped,” police said.
During the last trip, the couple even faced an undercover cop posing as a client who didn’t want to pay for services, and Diorio asked him, ‘Can we fix this so we can get out of here?’
Diorio made “deliberately misleading” statements after the bites, which were filmed, police said.
He repeatedly replied, “I don’t remember,” to the investigators’ questions.
Diorio was found guilty of anticipating and profiting from prostitution on three separate occasions and of breaching his police duty.
He had no disciplinary record before agreeing to escort the fake prostitutes to his jobs.
In fact, he received ratings of ‘exceeds expectations’ in 2018 and 2019 and a rating of ‘exceptional’ in 2020. He had also been awarded two medals for excellent police duty and one for meritorious police duty.
Before his retirement, Sardone was a youth coordination officer, “providing support and acting as a role model for our youth,” according to a district tweet from him last year.
Thomas Diorio Quick and Facts
- Officers Thomas Diorio and Michael Sardone made the trips in April and May
- They drove the ‘prostitutes’ to hotels in Manhattan and Queens to meet ‘johns’
- But the hookers and clients were actually fellow NYPD cops working undercover
- The pair pocketed $8,000 for three round trips; all caught on film
- Diorio was fired in August and Sardone retired amid the investigation