NY Daily News, nydailynews.com
BYLINE: Janon Fisher / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
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East Village, NY
Mina was so deep in debt to his drug dealer that he stole 4 loaded weapons and a bulletproof vest to support habit
He's traded his police blues for an orange jumpsuit.
Nicholas Mina, a formr police officer at the 9th Precinct in the East Village, pleaded guilty to 9 felony counts of stealing guns from the lockers of fellow officers at the precinct.
Nicholas Mina — the junkie cop so hooked on prescription pills that he stole guns from his East Village precinct station house and sold them to his dealer — pleaded guilty to gun and drug sale on Monday.
The 32-year-old officer agreed to serve 15 ½ years in state prison, avoiding the 20 year maximum sentence, for being part of a large drug and gun ring.
Mina, a Long Island native with four years on the job, was so deep in debt to his drug dealer, Ivan Chavez, that he stole at least four loaded service weapons and a bulletproof vest from the lockers at his Manhattan police station to support his habit, authorities say.
"As a New York City police officer, Nicholas Mina had the duty to protect citizens, but instead, he put their lives, and the lives of his fellow officers, at risk," said District Attorney Cyrus Vance. "Despite the continued serious problem of gun violence in our city, this defendant gave criminals easy access to dangerous weapons."
Chavez, who had worked as a police informant, pleaded guilty earlier in Oct. for his role in the ring and was sentenced to 20 years. Another codefendant, Jennifer Sultan, accused of trying to unload one inoperable gun, was a former internet entrepreneur. She's also been charged with trying to sell Adderall and other prescription drugs on Craigslist.
"Over two months, in five separate thefts, he stole four separate loaded 9-mm. semiautomatic weapons and a ballistic vest from fellow officers in the Ninth Precinct," Assistant District Attorney Christopher Prevost said at Mina's arraignment in July. "We have a confession last night ... to the theft and the sale of the guns, laying it on his drug use and his debt to his drug dealer."
Investigators have recovered all of the service weapons, sources said.
The four weapons and the bulletproof vest went missing between February and April when sources say Mina was assigned to the front desk of the 9th precinct station house. The dirty cop also sold a fifth Glock that he owned but had not registered with the department, said prosecutors.
After Chavez bought the fully-loaded guns from Mina, he sold them, along with department issue ammunition, to undercover detectives assigned to the Firearms Investigation Unit in Queens.
Once the serial numbers had been restored and ballistics tests confirmed the guns were the same four that walked out of the station house, investigators originally questioned some of the cops whose guns were stolen, thinking they had lost them. But they quickly zeroed in on Mina, who worked the night shift and was often unsupervised.
He is expected to be sentenced on Nov. 7.
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