The Manhattan district attorney has indicted three NYPD narcotics detectives for trying to steal bottles of Jay-Z’s pricey champagne, Ace of Spades.
According to the D.A.’s office, the officers were working at the Electric Zoo concert on Randall’s Island on Sept. 3, 2022.
While on duty, they snuck back to the VIP section and decided to nab two of the expensive bottles of bubbly from a group of revelers who had ordered a few rounds for their guests. The bottles cost the big bag host $2,900.
Det. Jonathan Gonzalez, 33, plotted on the ballers’ section and waited until they left their table to go over and steal the bottles. Once he stole them, he placed the bottles on the table where he and stood with his two colleagues, Det. Wojciech Czech, 44, and Det. Warren Golden, 31.
The indictment charges Gonzalez and Czech were each charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree. Gonzalez and another officer, Golden were charged with official misconduct, the Daily News reports.
The criminal report says Gonzales then took the bottles and placed them in a backpack he got from Czech. Then they left.
“At no time as the crime unfolded did Golden, who observed the conduct, take any action to intervene to prevent the theft or restore the stolen property to its owners,” prosecutors said.
They did not know that one of the guests peeped the entire ordeal and told authorities. A security guard rolled up on them, made them empty their bag, and give the bottles to the actual concert attendee that bought them.
When the news hit the fan, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell did a scan of the Manhattan North Narcotics unit and cleared house.
Now, the former narcs are trying to come up with a defense for taking the champagne without paying for them.
“My client will be totally vindicated in this matter,” Golden’s attorney said regarding the officer.
Adding, “The charge is simply not supported by the facts and the DA’s office should never have brought this allegation.”
One of the other officer’s legal representation also released a statement on the indictment.
“(My client) is shocked and saddened by these allegations,” said Czech’s lawyer, Attorney Oliver Storch. “He has pleaded not guilty and asks the public to withhold judgement until the charges can be fully addressed in the appropriate forum. Det. Czech loves being in the business of protecting and saving lives.
No word on what Gonzalez’s lawyer is saying in his defense.
D.A. Alvin Bragg is serious about prosecuting this case because of its implication for public confidence in law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
“In addition to the alleged theft that occurred, none of these officers 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,” Bragg offered in a prepared statement on the indictment.
NYPD said it has launched an investigation and will “initiate further discipline where appropriate.”
Czech and Golden have been suspended from duty and arrested for their alleged crimes. Gonzales is expected to turn himself in later in the week.