Three NYPD officers have been charged with theft of nearly $3000 JAY-ZAce of Spades champagne from last year’s Electric Zoo festival, Billboard reports.
Jonathan Gonzalez, 33, and Wojciech Czech, 44, will each face felony charges of grand larceny in the fourth degree and criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced. Gonzalez and another detective, 31-year-old Warren Golden, will also be charged with official misconduct.
All three officers were working narcotics at Electric Zoo, the New York electronic music festival, when they noticed that VIP concertgoers had ordered several bottles of JAY-Z’s Armand de Brignac, known as the Ace of Spades. According to prosecutors, when the attendees left, Gonzalez took two bottles – worth $2900 – and, along with the Czech, put them in a backpack while Golden stood by. Officers then left the VIP tent and forced their way into a staff-only area when they were confronted by concertgoers who witnessed and reported the theft to security.
“After a brief interaction between the bystanders, the defendants, and the security officer, two bottles were removed from the bag of the defendant Gonzalez and returned to the bystanders,” the official charging document states. . “The three accused immediately left the place and returned to their command. The security officer notified his supervisors, who in turn notified the NYPD.
Bragg criticized the officers’ behavior in a statement. “In addition to the alleged theft that took place, none of the Officers working in this activity stepped up and stopped this activity,” he said. “Public confidence in the criminal justice system depends on members of law enforcement acting with the utmost integrity while in office and following the same rules that apply to everyone.”
The NYPD said Billboard that two detectives were arrested were suspended from duty after the announcement of the charges, but did not specify which two officers were arrested. Under New York law, charges of fourth-degree grand larceny and possession of stolen property can result in up to four years in prison. If defendants cooperate, however, they could end up on trial and fined.