An off-duty NYPD transit officer was arrested for allegedly robbing a Bronx man of his jewelry and a gym bag full of marijuana, police sources said.
The cop, identified by sources as Michael Latimer, and an accomplice suited up in ski masks and bulletproof vests before walking into an apartment building on Mace Avenue near Holland Avenue in Allerton at about 3:50 p.m. Thursday, the sources said.
Latimer and his accomplice held their victim at gunpoint and took the man’s watch and the bag full of pot before driving off, according to law enforcement sources.
A witness saw the cop, who works in nearby Transit District 12, and his accomplice putting on their masks before the robbery and called 911, sources said.
Officers canvassing the neighborhood pulled the car over after the robbery and arrested both men.
New York finds itself at a crucial moment in cannabis legalization in 2020. Governor Mario Cuomo has once again pledged to regulate recreational marijuana this year. Last year, the governor’s plan to do so foundered on complex regulatory debate and lack of political will. It is largely believed the state will be able to come to an agreement on cannabis legalization this year, however.
And should you think that Latimer is alone in his alleged intended cannabis thievery among his peers, know that his case is not even the first of the year involving a cop and marijuana-related robbery. The lure of the cannabis industry’s cash and product in particular has proven to be too tempting for some crooked law enforcement officials to pass up.
In Los Angeles, a cop was charged with stealing cannabis out of an unlicensed dispensary employee’s backpack. The alleged theft took place when Officer Louis Mota participated in an LAPD raid of the establishment, one of many that have taken place in LA recently during the city’s crackdown on unlicensed cannabis outlets in collaboration with the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs and Bureau of Cannabis Control.