THE BRONX — The cop who sparked the NYPD's ticket-fixing scandal is now accused of trying to kill a witness who was set to testify against him, prosecutors said.
Jose Ramos, 43, and his wife, Wanda Abreu, 39, were arraigned Thursday on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, after prosecutors say Ramos was caught discussing whether to have someone kill the would-be informant, who worked for a Bronx barbershop owned by Ramos' family.
Ramos, an 18-year veteran of the NYPD, has been in jail since last fall on $500,000 bail, after NYPD investigators caught him selling marijuana and counterfeit CDs and DVDs out of the barbershop, police said. Ramos is also accused of buying and delivering heroin and attempting to steal money from a drug dealer while on duty.
While listening in on Ramos' conversations as part of a sting, investigators heard him offering to fix a ticket, setting off a broader investigation that snared more than a dozen cops, prosecutors said.
Ramos and his wife each face three counts of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of criminal solicitation on charges they plotted to kill a potential witness — in person and later on the phone while Ramos was in jail on Rikers Island, according to Bronx District Attorney Richard Johnson's office.
The conspiratorial conversations — in which Abreu is accused of asking how much to pay a hit man and suggesting the murder occur while she and Ramos were in Texas — took place between September 2011 and May of this year, prosecutors said in the indictment.
If convicted of conspiracy, the top charge, Ramos and Abreu could each be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison, prosecutors said.
Ramos remains in jail and his wife, Abreu, was held on $500,000 bond.