SectionsSEARCHSkip to contentSkip to site index|Detective’s Lies Sent Three People to Prison, Prosecutors ChargeAdvertisementSupported byDetective’s Lies Sent Three People to Prison, Prosecutors ChargeA veteran narcotics detective testified falsely about drug deals he claimed to have seen in at least three cases, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said.ImageOn Wednesday, Detective Joseph E. Franco, who works in southern Manhattan, was charged with 16 criminal counts, including perjury and official misconduct. CreditCreditJefferson Siegel for The New York TimesBy April 24, 2019Detective Joseph E. Franco is a 19-year veteran in the narcotics division in Manhattan with thousands of arrests to his credit. His testimony has sent numerous people to prison.Among them were three New Yorkers that Detective Franco said he saw selling drugs in separate cases in 2017 and 2018. All three pleaded guilty.Two were sent to state prison and were behind bars when investigators from the Manhattan district attorney’s office discovered that the detective’s accounts — filed in arrest reports, and repeated to other officers, prosecutors and grand juries — were fabricated.On Wednesday, Detective Franco, who works in southern Manhattan, was charged with 16 criminal counts, including perjury and official misconduct. Prosecutors said Detective Franco fabricated tales of drug buys by innocent people. His lies unraveled when investigators found video evidence contradicting the detective’s accounts and after interviewing other arresting officers, prosecutors said in court papers filed with the case.Detective Franco, 46, pleaded not guilty to the charges in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon. Justice Mark Dwyer released him without bail until his next court date on June 28. Detective Franco and his lawyer, Howard Tanner, declined to comment as they left the courthouse.The convictions against the three people Detective Franco said had sold drugs — Julio Irizarry, Tameeka Baker and Turrell Irving — have been thrown out, and none of the three are in state custody anymore, said Justin Henry, a spokesman for the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr.At a bail hearing on Wednesday, an assistant district attorney, Stephanie Minogue, said that the office was investigating at least two other cases involving Detective Franco and that more indictments might be filed against him. She asked for $50,000 cash bail, a request Justice Dwyer denied. Detective Franco has now been suspended without pay, the Police Department said. “Our N.Y.P.D. officers swear an oath to uphold the law, and meet the highest ethical standards,” the police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, said in a statement. “Should an officer fail to meet those critical expectations, they must be held accountable.”Prosecutors said Mr. Irizarry was the first to be accused of making a drug sale that Detective Franco, working as a plainclothes detective, claimed he had witnessed. Mr. Irizarry was arrested in February 2017 after the detective said he saw him selling drugs inside the lobby of a building on Delancey Street, prosecutors said in a court document.But video from a security camera inside the building showed that no such transaction took place. Additionally, video from a security camera outside the building showed Detective Franco never entered the building, leaving him unable to see anything in the lobby, the document said.This pattern was repeated on two other occasions. Ms. Baker was arrested in June 2017 on Madison Street after Detective Franco said that he saw Ms. Baker selling drugs in a building’s vestibule, the document said.Yet investigators found security video showing that Ms. Baker went into the building without stopping in the vestibule, and that Detective Franco was not close enough to her to actually see what she was doing, the document said.In April 2018, Mr. Irving was arrested on Detective Franco’s word that he had seen him giving cocaine to a woman, Karen Miano, who subsequently sold the drug to an undercover officer, the document said.“Once more, the video from this incident directly contradicted the defendant’s version of events,” according to the document. “There was no drug transaction between Mr. Irving and Ms. Miano. Instead, Ms. Miano simply held the door open for Mr. Irving as he entered the building and she exited on her way to meet the undercover officer.”“In each of the cases, the defendant compounded his misconduct by repeating these lies over and over again,” Ms. Minogue, the prosecutor, said in court.The review of Detective Franco’s cases began last summer, when the district attorney’s staff noticed major inconsistencies in the detective’s statements and the underpinning evidence in his casework, Mr. Henry said. After vacating the convictions of Mr. Irizarry, Ms. Burke and Mr. Burrell, the lawyers from the district attorney’s Conviction Integrity Program referred Detective Franco’s case to the Public Corruption Unit for investigation, Mr. Henry said.Ms. Baker and Mr. Irizarry were both serving state prison sentences when the evidence came to light showing the detective’s testimony in their cases was false, the court documents said.In a statement, the district attorney’s office said the case against Detective Franco was part of a continuing effort to root out and prosecute police corruption and misconduct. “My office will continue to bring the full weight of the law against uniformed officers who lie and undermine the public trust in law enforcement on which we rely to keep New York safe,” Mr. Vance said in the statement.Ali Winston contributed reporting.‘Testilying’ by Police: A Stubborn ProblemMarch 18, 2018A Detective Lied to the Grand Jury. Now She’s Going to Jail.June 27, 2018He Excelled as a Detective, Until Prosecutors Stopped Believing HimOct. 10, 2017Correction: April 24, 2019An earlier version of this article misstated the years of the cases in question. They were in 2017 and 2018, not 2017 and 2019.A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: Detective’s Lies Sent Three People to Prison, Prosecutors Charge. | | AdvertisementOpen in the appSite IndexGo to Home Page »newshome pageworldU.S.politicsNew Yorkbusinesstechscienceclimatesportsobituariesthe upshottoday's papercorrectionsopiniontoday's opinionop-ed columnistseditorialsop-ed Contributorsletterssunday reviewvideo: opinionartstoday's artsart & designbooksdancemoviesmusicPop Culturetelevisiontheaterwatchingvideo: artslivingautomobilescrosswordfoodCookingeducationstylehealthjobsmagazinereal estatet magazinetravelweddingslistings & moreReader CenterWirecutterLive EventsThe Learning Networktools & servicesN.Y.C. events guidemultimediaphotographyvideoNewslettersNYT storetimes journeysmanage my accountnewshome pageworldU.S.politicsNew Yorkbusinesstechscienceclimatesportsobituariesthe upshottoday's papercorrectionsopiniontoday's opinionop-ed columnistseditorialsop-ed Contributorsletterssunday reviewvideo: opinionartstoday's artsart & designbooksdancemoviesmusicPop Culturetelevisiontheaterwatchingvideo: artslivingautomobilescrosswordfoodCookingeducationstylehealthjobsmagazinereal estatet magazinetravelweddingsmoreReader CenterWirecutterLive EventsThe Learning Networktools & servicesN.Y.C. events guidemultimediaphotographyvideoNewslettersNYT storetimes journeysmanage my accountSubscribehome deliverydigital subscriptionsCrosswordCookingemail newsletterscorporate subscriptionseducation ratemobile applicationsreplica editionSite Information Navigation© 2019 The New York Times CompanyContact UsWork with usAdvertiseYour Ad ChoicesPrivacyTerms of ServiceTerms of SaleSite MapHelpHelpSubscriptions. Detective Joseph E. Franco is a 19-year veteran in the narcotics division in Manhattan with thousands of arrests to his credit. His testimony has sent hundreds of people to prison.. All through his youth, Winston Churchill bombarded his American mother Jennie with affectionate letters and requests for money. He was far less close to his father, Lord Randolph..