Jonathan Gonzalez, 33, and Wojciech Czech, 44, will each face the felony charges of grand larceny in the fourth degree and criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced. Gonzalez and another detective, 31-year-old Warren Golden, will also be charged with official misconduct.
All three officers were working narcotics at Electric Zoo, the New York electronic music festival, when they noticed that VIP concertgoers ordered several bottles of JAY-Z’s Armand de Brignac, known as Ace of Spades. According to prosecutors, when the attendees stepped way, Gonzalez took two bottles — valued at $2900 — and, along with Czech, placed them into a backpack while Golden stood by. The officers then left the VIP tent and forced their way into a staff-only area when they were confronted by concertgoers who witnessed and reported the theft to security.
“Following a brief interaction between the attendees, the defendants, and the security officer, the two bottles were taken from defendant Gonzalez’s bag and returned to the attendees,” the official charging document notes. “The three defendants then left the area and returned to their command. The security officer notified his supervisors, who in turn notified the NYPD.”
Bragg denounced the officers’ behavior in a statement. “In addition to the alleged theft that occurred, none of the Officers working at the event stepped up and stopped this activity,” he said. “Public confidence in the criminal justice system depends on members of law enforcement acting with the utmost integrity while on duty and following the same rules that apply to everyone else.”
The NYPD told Billboard that two detectives were arrested suspended from duty following announcement of the charges, but did not specify which two officers were arrested. Under New York law, charges of fourth-degree grand larceny and possession of stolen property can result in up to four years in prison. If defendants cooperate, however, they could end up with only probation and fines.