[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/02/art.vert.crime.torres.jpg caption="Christian Torres, 23, will be sentenced on November 6." width=292 height=320]
Instead of upholding the law, one cop was busy breaking it.
Now, he’s paying the price.
A former New York City Police Officer was convicted of armed bank robbery and related charges, federal authorities announced Tuesday.
In a press release, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said Christian Torres, pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery, one count of bank larceny, and one count of conspiring to commit bank robbery.
Torres, 23, will be sentenced on November 6. He faces a maximum term of 30 years in prison.
His girlfriend, Christina Dasrath, who – as a teller – allegedly conspired with Torres to commit the heists, pleaded guilty last year to bank fraud, bank larceny and making false statements. She was sentenced in January to 30 months in prison.
Prosecutors said the couple worked together to steal from the same bank on two separate occasions, with Dasrath supplying Torres with help and information from the inside.
They also put on a show for customers and employees.
On June 8, 2007, Torres, who at the time was a police cadet, walked into the Sovereign Bank in Manhattan and approached Dasrath’s window. According to the indictment, Torres handed her a note demanding money. He also threatened to shoot people if his orders were not followed.
Dasrath removed $16,305 from her drawer and gave it to Torres. The couple later shared the proceeds of their staged hold-up.
The second armed robbery occurred on November 16, 2007, when Torres had graduated from the police academy and was serving as a NYPD officer.
On that day, Torres returned again to the Sovereign Bank with a more brazen and violent approach. As with the previous heist, his girlfriend provided him with confidential bank information.
The press release said Torres entered the bank as employees were opening the branch. He ordered them to walk to the vault. When one person refused, Torres brandished a gun and threatened to kill the employee if he did not comply with his orders.
Torres forced one of his captives to tie up the legs of another hostage. He then put on black ski mask and had one employee fill a duffel bag with cash. Torres then told them to remain in the vault for 10 minutes. He left the bank with approximately $102,000.
Prett Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York praised the F.B.I for their assistance in bringing Torres to justice.
He also called the disgraced ex-cop’s behavior an aberration for New York’s finest, saying "Officers of the NYPD put themselves in harm's way every day to protect the citizens of New York City. Today, Christian Torres admitted that he brazenly betrayed his badge by stealing from the very people he swore an oath to protect."
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