TROY, N.Y. – A Troy Police officer has been charged with intentionally obstructing a drug ring investigation, according to the New York Attorney General.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman confirmed that a Troy Police officer, Brian Gross, has been arrested after allegedly leaking information about pending search warrants during a drug ring investigation. In a statement, he alleged that the leaked information allowed the suspects to remove evidence of narcotics before police could perform the bust.
Gross is charged with felony tampering with physical evidence. He also faces two counts of official misconduct, and one count of obstructing governmental administration.
According to the attorney general, New York State Police CNET had been investigating a specific criminal narcotics ring in Rensselear County since 2013.
Schneiderman says Gross was assigned to assist CNET with the operation, which meant he knew suspect information and details about the planned drug bust.
Investigators became suspicious when no evidence of drugs was found during the execution of search warrants at five locations in February.
One of the homes searched belonged to a suspect identified in the criminal complaint as “Person #2.” Officials say the suspect told investigators that he’d been told by “Person #1” about CNET’s investigation.
Schneiderman says the information was given to the suspect by officer Gross, who allegedly arranged in-person meetings via text message.
Officer Gross also allegedly warned that “Person #2” had better “watch [his] back” because of CNET’s investigation.
According to the felony complaint filed on Wednesday, prior to the search warrant executions, Officer Gross warned that there better not be any drugs inside the home of “Person #2” because “there was a good chance the police would be getting a warrant.”
Officer Gross’ arrest is the result of a five-month long joint investigation between the Attorney General’s Office and the New York State Police.
As Gross entered Troy City Court Wednesday, fellow Troy Police officers and the union president were by his side.
His lawyer, Stephen Coffey, says his client is innocent.
"We just met last night. We came in this morning I got to talk to him. I asked him he said I'm not guilty and beyond that I haven't had any discussions with him. I haven't talked to the Attorney General. I haven't really talked to Brian but that's where we are. There are serious allegations but we're defending them,” he said.
Troy Police Chief John Tedesco will hold a 2 p.m. press conference Wednesday. Gross is due back in court on August 21.