Hoboken cop and fire chief arrested

October 8, 2009 4:02:33 PM PDT
Police say a Jersey City restaurant was used as the base of operations for three suspected drug kingpins accused of serving up cocaine with their frijoles to the tune of $35,000 a week. Investigators say their best repeat customers were a local Fire Chief, and two local police officers.

Scandal plagued Hoboken didn't need another demerit, but police say 25-year-old Hoboken police officer Ralph Gallo wasn't only observed buying cocaine, but used his computer at headquarters to alert one of the dealers that a car trailing him was registered to the government.

Monica Thorpe, a Hoboken parking utility employee allegedly tipped off suspects using her work computer and 59-year-old Hoboken Fire Battalion Chief Henry Setkiewicz allegedly bought his drugs-while on duty.

Jersey City officer Mark Medal, and Setkiewicz were charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine and are believed to have been regular cocaine customers of the network, which allegedly operated out of the Calle Luna Restaurant, also known as the "D. Hernandez" Restaurant, at Varick and Wayne streets, officials said.

Hudson county prosecutor Ed Defazio says the joint operation with the DEA lasted a year and half.

The Hoboken Fire Chief and police officer are both suspended without pay.

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