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Wait Continues for 17 Cops Targeted by Ticket Fixing Probe

By Murray Weiss | September 22, 2011 6:36am

The wait continues for 17 NYPD officers expecting to learn their fate in a massive ticket-fixing probe, sources tell DNAinfo.

None of the cops who are targets of the two-year investigation have been told if the the Bronx grand jury has handed down an indictment.

The silence means prosecutors have yet to complete the arduous legal paperwork that is necessary before any indictments can be unsealed and the defendants notified to surrender to authorities.

That could happen at any time, sources say, since the grand jury concluded its work listening to six months of evidence that included testimony from nearly 50 cops who were granted immunity and hours of secret recordings made on the cellphones of nearly 30 other officers.

It is not clear if the grand jury's voting has been completed or whether any decisions have been made.

The probe began when a tip came into the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau that Bronx cop Jose Ramos was allegedly working with a drug dealer who worked in a barbershop Ramos owned.

Detectives posing as corrupt cops pulled over the drug dealer's car one afternoon, found eight pounds of pot and took it, leaving the pusher with the problem of telling his supplier he was ripped off by cops.

Ramos allegedly gave the ex-con an official NYPD evidence voucher that claimed the marijuana was seized by police. 

Undercover cops posing as drug dealers then solicited Ramos to help them transfer kilos of cocaine, sources told "On the Inside."

They also were tapping a phone he used inside his barbershop. While eavesdropping, they allegedly heard him talking about fixing a ticket, sparking the investigation that led to the biggest scandal to hit the NYPD in decades.

During the next year, investigators unearthed a police culture of fixing tickets for friends, family and colleagues that sometimes extended to covering up drunk driving and domestic violence incidents for fellow officers. And the reputed corruption primarily revolved around union officials and delegates.

In addition to the 17 cops who face possible criminal charges, hundreds more face disciplinary action within the NYPD.  Dozens have already copped pleas to the wrongdoing, paid a fine and retired.

The strain of the lengthy grand jury investigation has taken its toll on the rank-and-file.

Last week, officer Robert McGee, 62, attempted to commit suicide after testifying with immunity.

When the indictments are announced, officers who face arrested will be suspended form the force and their guns will be removed.