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Two PA Cops Rob Investigator Posing as Drug Dealer

Two PA Cops Rob Investigator Posing as Drug Dealer

Philadelphia Police officers Christopher Luciano, left, and Sean Alivera, right, have been charged with robbing a an undercover investigator posing as a drug dealer. [Department Photos]

Philadelphia Inquirer via YellowBrix

October 06, 2010

PHILADELPHIA – It started two weeks ago with an informant’s tip, developed during a state drug investigation: A couple of Philadelphia cops had become too cozy with a dealer.

Although the officers patrolled a section of North Philadelphia brimming with temptation, no one at the time suspected them of being dirty, authorities said.

But once investigators began looking into the activities of Officer Sean Alivera and his partner, Christopher Luciano, they quickly realized they had a problem.

The two appeared to be stealing drugs from couriers and giving them to a dealer to sell.

Two weeks after receiving the initial tip from the Bureau of Narcotics Investigations, a sting operation was swiftly arranged, with a young and “extremely brave” Philadelphia police officer posing as a courier.

Monday evening, investigators watched as Alivera and Luciano – on duty and in full uniform – stopped the undercover officer, arrested him, and robbed him of 20 pounds of marijuana and $3,000 in cash, authorities said.

The crime was captured on video surveillance, said District Attorney Seth Williams.

Alivera, 31, and Luciano, 23, were arrested shortly after 7 p.m. Monday at the 25th District headquarters, where they were assigned. They were charged with robbery, kidnapping, conspiracy, and other crimes.

“Police corruption will not be tolerated,” Williams said Tuesday at a news conference announcing the arrests. “We are committed to rooting out bad cops, and we will prosecute them for the disgraceful thugs and scum that they are.”

Both defendants were being held Tuesday on $1 million bail. Court records did not indicate if either had an attorney.

Both will be fired, and no one will wear their badge numbers again, Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said.

Their scheme, as described by authorities, is nearly identical to another revealed in July, when three officers were accused of stealing heroin and selling the drugs to a dealer for $6,000.

In that case, federal authorities tracked the officers for months as they hatched their plan, with the aid of wiretaps and an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent. The indictment, which also charged three dealers and the wife of one officer, contained a thick narrative of events.

By contrast, the arrests of Alivera and Luciano moved so quickly from tip to sting that many details remained cloudy Tuesday.

Authorities described the officers’ drug-dealing partner as an unnamed individual who was supposed to redistribute the stolen marijuana. Williams and Ramsey declined to say what happened to the pilfered marijuana, valued at $24,000.

How the officers came to be associated with the dealer also was unclear. Investigators said they were unsure if Alivera and Luciano had robbed other drug couriers or if other officers could have been involved.

Prosecutors did say that the $3,000 taken from the undercover officer was “found in the defendants’ possession.”

“With this effort to root out corruption, things could get worse before they get better,” Ramsey said.

He said there was no connection between Alivera and Luciano and the three officers arrested in the heroin-stealing case.

One of those officers, Robert Snyder, also worked in the 25th District, but he was in a different squad and was not assigned to the street.

The other two officers in the heroin case, Mark Williams and James Venziale, worked in the adjacent 39th District.

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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Wow. I hope the judge throws the book at them. It's ones like this that give the rest of us a bad rep in the eyes of the public.

  • Fidel_pd_uniform_shot_max50


    over 4 years ago


    This is the consequences of years of allowing the standards for police officers to be lowered across the USA. It's happening in large departments like Philly and even in the small ones. It takes years for a department to recover from these shameful acts.

  • Picture_008_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I am glad they caught the scumbags. They could have been doing this for years and never been caught. Glad someone is keeping an eye on things out there....

  • Badge__hat_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Disgraceful lower life forms. I hope they receive the maximum punishments allowed by law. Absolutely shameful.

  • Snoopy-cool_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I'm going to be applying to academies soon and it's amazing how all this happens. All you hear about is how tough the background investigations are. I live in New Orleans and I know everyone is aware of a lot of dirtyness going on down here too. Our chief is cleaning house as well. I wonder if there's an answer for keeping these types out? What complete losers. How does one work so hard for something and just throw it in the toilet and flush it down. The whole application process and making it through all the training is difficult and such a huge accomplishment for those who make it. That's crazy!! :(:(

  • Vlcsnap-35827_max50


    over 4 years ago


    it's always good to let tha wourld know we can look for GOD send an angle to Serve and Pertect 'some puples can be lead to new life,never know whats going on with a pueple(mind)a brain is an terrible thing to waist.

  • Vlcsnap-35827_max50


    over 4 years ago


    wow wining my attention,just might can get some out here but that'll come later,great work,Blessings.

  • Stmaarten2_max50


    over 4 years ago


    jesus.....12th and 13th......but the pastor is right, lets highlight the job that the 1000 other philadelphia police do every day...theres always a few bad apples in the bushel but maybe we shouldnt publicize these idiots so much..its only going to make relations worse

  • Jack_bauer_max50


    over 4 years ago


    This is so disgusting, i know times are tough and we don't get paid that much, there is no excuse for this.

  • Clone_trooper_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Dirtbags who disgraced the badge.

  • White_shirt_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Scumbags. Lowest form of life is a dirty cop.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    How lame of them.

  • 1051193310_l_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I say prison is right where these two belong, no isolation, general population... Justice will be served!

  • Images_1__max50


    over 4 years ago


    Glad they got em'. I can't believe there are some that will do this. It is my life long dream to be a LEO, I have been working really hard towards that goal. These guys have what I want and throw it all away. They are no better than the scum that sit in prison. Now they get to go to a place where the people not only hate cops but REALLY hate dirty cops.

  • Richardrichard_max50


    over 4 years ago


    This hurts!!
    With all the tragedies that the Philadelphia Police Department has suffered.

    Philadelphia Police Department you are still a great Police Department.

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