2 Phila. cops arrested in undercover drug sting

Philadelphia Police officers Christopher Luciano, left, and Sean Alivera, right, have been charged with robbing a an undercover investigator posing as a 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. (Frank Kummer)
Posted: October 05, 2010

Two Philadelphia police officers were arrested Monday evening and charged with robbing an undercover investigator posing as a drug dealer, authorities said today.

Officers Sean Alivera, 31, and Christopher Luciano, 23, allegedly stole 20 pounds of marijuana and $3,000 in cash.

Both officers, who were partners assigned to the 25th District, were arrested at the district headquarters. They were still in custody this morning, after being charged with robbery, kidnapping, conspiracy and other crimes.

A tip that Alivera and Luciano were robbing drug dealers was passed from the state Bureau of Narcotics Investigations to the police department about two weeks ago.

Investigators from the police department and the District Attorney's office set up a sting operation that culminated with Monday's robbery of an undercover Philadelphia police officer, authorities said.

The alleged robbery was captured on video surveillance, said District Attorney Seth Williams. The officers intended to keep the money and redistribute the drugs, authorities said.

"Police corruption will not be tolerated," Williams said. "We will root out bad cops and we will prosecute them for the disgraceful thugs and scum that they are."

The arrests come just months after three other officers were snared in a federal sting and charged with stealing herion from a drug dealer. One of those officers also was from the 25th District, which covers drug-infested areas of North Philadephia and Kensington.

Investigators do not know of any connection between the officers in those two cases.

In a year that also has seen several officers arrested for shootings, sex crimes and theft, police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey has pledged to "clean our house."

"This is another embarassment for our department, another in a long list, unfortunately," he said this morning at a news conference announcing the arrests.

Ramsey said both officers soon would be served with papers to fire them, and that no one would wear their badge numbers again.

He said neither Alivera, a 10-year veteran, nor Luciano, a three-year veteran, had "significant" histories with Internal Affairs.

He said the officers were not "on our radar" until the tip was passed from the state Attorney General's office.


Contact staff writer Troy Graham at 215-854-2730 or tgraham@phillynews.com.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|