FBI agents working on a quadruple murder case against a 49 year old retired New York police officer, have begun an active search of the accused ex-officer’s 65 acre farm in Crawford, New York, this past Wednesday.
Nicholas Tartaglione, a retired Briarcliff Manor police officer, is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, and four counts of murder in furtherance of a conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.
On April 11th, Martin Luna, Urbano Santiago, Miguel Luna and Hector Gutierrez were killed at a bar called the Likquid Lounge in Chester during a possible drug deal. Police said that one or two may have been involved in drug activity but that the others were “simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
The bar is owned by Nicholas Tartaglione’s brother.
Nicholas Tartaglione left the Briarcliff Manor police job on a disability claim back in 2008, and was granted a disability pension by the state Comptroller’s Office based on a work injury that the state determined left him unable to continue police work.
Tartaglione had been a thorn in the side of the Briarcliff Manor police for several years before retiring.
Back in 1999, Briarcliff Manor police department suspended Tartaglione after his arrest on perjury charges accusing him of lying at a Department of Motor Vehicles hearing about a drunk-driving arrest he had made.
He was acquitted in the criminal case but fired based on departmental charges.
The village was forced to bring him back in 2003, with $320,000 in back pay, after Tartaglione won his challenge in court.
While a Briar Manor police officer, Tartaglione was also investigated for aggressive behavior, and was sued by a local activist and cable TV show host Clay Tiffany.
Tiffany, who was arrested by Tartaglione several times, claimed that Tartaglione had “roughed” him up. Tiffany sued the village and wound up receiving more than $1.1 million in settlements from his federal lawsuits.
Not long after Tartaglione retired in 2008, Tartaglione wanted to get back on the department. In 2010, he requested a re-examination, and the medical review board found for Tartaglione stating he could return to work. Not only was he allowed to go back to work but the board placed his name at the top of the eligible for hiring list by Briarcliff Manor police.
The Briar Manor village didn’t want Tartaglione so they didn’t hire any officers for four years until Tartaglione’s eligibility ran out.
On Tuesday, on day after Nicholas Tartaglione pleaded not guilty in federal court, the bodies of the four men he allegedly murdered were discovered at an Otisville, N.Y., property where Tartaglione lived.
Tartaglione is being held at the Westchester County jail and according to court records, “a federal magistrate judge has issued a medical directive to jail officials that Tartaglione needs to continue receiving “sub-toxin to treat opioids.”
H/T: USA TODAY
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