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Press Release | NO. 2003-117

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Press Release # 117
Friday, October 3, 2003

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson, Yankees Vice President Sonny Hight, And Major League Baseball Director Of Investigations Marty Maguire Announce Arrests Of Six Individuals For Merchandise Counterfeiting And Police Bribery

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson, New York Yankees Vice President of Operations Sonny Hight, and Major League Baseball Director of
Investigations Marty Maguire today announced the arrest of four individuals for selling counterfeit merchandise and attempting to bribe a police officer. The arrests were made yesterday outside Yankee Stadium
in the Bronx. In addition, police arrested two individuals in Manhattan for selling counterfeit merchandise.

The arrests mark the culmination of an investigation that began in April 2003, when a peddler of counterfeit merchandise at Yankee Stadium attempted to bribe Police Officer Thomas McCormack so that he could sell
his illegal products without getting arrested. P.O. McCormack contacted the Internal Affairs Bureau, which helped him establish controlled meetings with the peddler. P.O. McCormack then began accepting "bribes" regularly from several different peddlers. Throughout the investigation, he received 50 bribes totaling $4,966 in cash.

Police also arrested two other individuals yesterday for selling counterfeit merchandise at their shop at 55 West 28th Street in Manhattan. During the execution of a search warrant, police seized about 360 counterfeit Baseball hats.

Police Commissioner Kelly said: "Attempting to bribe a police officer is a serious crime, and we continue to pursue these criminals the fullest extent of the law. I commend Police Officer McCormack for taking immediate action against these counterfeiters, documenting their bribery scheme, and ultimately bringing them to justice. Thanks to their persistent efforts, we have sent a clear message to anyone who thinks
they can pay off members of this Department: If you try to bribe a police officer, you will go to prison."

District Attorney Johnson said: "The success of this operation represents a double win. The counterfeiters were arrested, and the police officers, who rejected and reported bribe offers, once again
demonstrated that the NYPD is not for sale."

Yankees Vice President Hight said: "We worked closely with the NYPD, the Bronx District Attorney's Office, and Major League Baseball throughout this investigation. These arrests help alert baseball fans to
the problems of counterfeit merchandise. Our concern is that Yankees fans get the authentic merchandise they pay for. We're very pleased with the results of this investigation, and we will continue to
cooperate with law enforcement to eliminate this type of illegal activity that's perpetrated on our fans and the public."

MLB Director of Investigations Maguire said: "Major League Baseball considers these arrests as a significant step by law enforcement in continuing to protect our fans from inferior-quality merchandise. MLB
wants to thank both the New York City Police Department and the Bronx District Attorney's Office for their outstanding investigative efforts which culminated with today's action."

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