Cop Charged with Falsely Accusing Man of Drug Sale in West Harlem

By Julie Shapiro and Leslie Albrecht  on January 16, 2013 8:08pm

WEST HARLEM — An NYPD cop is facing charges after prosecutors say he falsely accused a man of selling drugs in West Harlem last year.

Officer Isaias Alicea, 28, is accused of illegally arresting two men in the Manhattanville Houses and then lying to his superiors and filing false paperwork, the Manhattan District Attorney's office said.

Alicea was indicted Wednesday on 10 counts of offering a false instrument for filing and two counts of official misdemeanor, prosecutors said.

The seven-year veteran of the NYPD was patrolling the Manhattanville Houses on Feb. 19, 2012, when he arrested two men in the lobby of 545 W. 126th St., prosecutors said. He also searched a mailbox belonging to one of the men, the DA's office said.

Alicea filed paperwork saying he saw one man sell drugs to the other, but surveillance footage later showed that the two men had no contact, prosecutors said.

"We rightfully trust our police officers to report their activities truthfully. Those who do not erode the public’s trust in law enforcement," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement.

"To falsely accuse anyone of a drug sale is not only unacceptable, it is a crime."

Alicea was arrested Tuesday morning in Chinatown and Little Italy's 5th Precinct, police said.  

On Wednesday, he pleaded not guilty in New York State Supreme Court. Alicea's lawyer said his client believed he saw a drug sale take place, the New York Post reported.