NYPD narcotics officer accused of lying about cases that led to unlawful arrests

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A former NYPD narcotics detective was arraigned Wednesday for allegedly making false statements in court proceedings and in court documents that led to multiple unlawful arrests.

Authorities say Officer Joseph Franco, assigned to Manhattan South Narcotics Division, lied during three arrests for drug crimes that were made between February of 2017 and May of 2018.

One of the arrests was alleged to have been made near the South Street Seaport, while the other two were alleged to have been made on the Lower East Side.

All three individuals arrested during the separate incidents pled guilty to the crimes they were charged with, while two of the individuals had served time in state prison.

The Manhattan DA's Office has since moved to vacate those convictions.

"As alleged in the indictment, this detective lied to judges, prosecutors, and his own colleagues in the NYPD about crimes that never happened, and three New Yorkers wrongfully lost their liberty as a result," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said. "My office will continue to bring the full weight of the law against uniformed officers who lie and undermine the public trust in law enforcement on which we rely to keep New York safe."

Franco, a 19-year veteran of the force, pleaded not guilty to all charges.

He faces charges including perjury, offering a false instrument for filing and official misconduct.

Franco did not speak and is due back in court on June 28.

Over the last two years, the Manhattan DA's Office has prosecuted cases of corruption and misconduct committed by seven uniformed officers.

----------
* More New York City news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.