|"Officer" Eduardo Cornejo was moonlighting as a pimp.|
He was ferrying prostitutes to hotels in New Jersey,
Staten Island, the Bronx and Long Island, according to
FBI agents who arrested him.
Eduardo Cornejo had been an officer in the New York Police Department for more than a decade. But in a phone call one night last month, the authorities said, he hinted at his other, more nefarious work.
“That might make it hot, though, standing outside with a bunch of girls,” Mr. Cornejo said, a reference, according to the authorities, to dividing money among the prostitutes he is accused of employing outside a Long Island motel. “They’re going to know what’s up real quick.”
But investigators were already aware of the operation, the authorities said on Tuesday. They were listening to the phone call — his line had been wiretapped — and had been tracking his movements for months after an anonymous tipster said Mr. Cornejo was a pimp for at least one woman.
In all, the authorities said, he had employed at least 10 prostitutes. Investigators followed him to motels across the region, and the authorities described his efforts as something of a second job, starting many evenings as soon as his shift ended with the Police Department.
Mr. Cornejo, 33, was charged on Tuesday with transporting women in interstate commerce to engage in prostitution, a federal offense, for ferrying women to motels in New Jersey and on Staten Island and Long Island, according to the United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District.
He was arrested after a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau, which reviews police conduct.
“Cornejo not only abused the public trust given to him as an N.Y.P.D. officer, but he showed no human decency when he facilitated the exploitation of women for profit,” Diego Rodriguez, the assistant director in charge of the F.B.I.’s field office in New York, said in a statement. “Police officers, like all public servants, are held to a higher standard, and should not violate the very same laws they are supposed to enforce.”
Mr. Cornejo was fired by the Police Department on Jan. 16 because he failed a random drug test, Stephen P. Davis, the department’s chief spokesman, said.