NYPD Officer arraigned after admitting to lying under oath for search warrant
A Brooklyn police officer was arraigned on perjury charges at Brooklyn Supreme Court on Tuesday for allegedly lying on five separate occasions to push forward a Red Hook gun possession case.
Officer Joseph Moloney entered Brooklyn Supreme Court with his hands in his pockets, surrounded by plainclothes officers to face first-degree perjury, making a false statement and official misconduct charges.
When a gun was found inside a man’s apartment at the Red Hook Houses without a search warrant, the 27-year-old officer allegedly created a story to get a warrant. The officer then held onto his lie up until the case was about to go to trial, when he admitted he was selling a false narrative, according to court documents.
“Our police officers are expected to be truthful and honest at all times because people’s fates and the integrity of the justice system depend on that,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. “We allege that the officer in this case failed to do that and instead repeatedly gave false testimony under oath.”
While arresting the suspect in his apartment on May 6, 2016, Moloney submitted on a warrant to Supreme Court Justice John Ingram that he saw the man kick a black box that contained a gun under his bed. However, Moloney later admitted that he was not in the apartment when the gun was found.
After the school unit officer obtained and swore to the emergency search warrant — as instructed by his sergeant — he testified to the same story to a grand jury five days later, according to court documents.
Once the man and his girlfriend were charged with weapon possession and other counts, Moloney allegedly continued his fabrication in testimony at Brooklyn Family Court. The family court hearing was ordered because there were two children inside the apartment.
Despite crime scene photos showing the bed on the floor with no room for a box, Moloney then allegedly lied again on April 5, 2017 in a Brooklyn Supreme Court hearing, saying the man pushed the box “away from the bed.” He called this error, “just a rookie mistake.”
Moloney told the truth in July 2017 when the case approached trial and the couple’s charges were dismissed.
“I want to come clean to you … I did not see the box being opened by someone else. I wasn’t in the room,” Moloney said to the prosecutor on the case, court documents show.
The officer assigned to the 76th Precinct has since been suspended without pay, according to a police spokesperson.
After pleading not guilty to the charges, Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun released Moloney without bail to return to court on June 13. The plainclothes officer was then escorted out of the courtroom through a side exit to avoid press.
He faces up to four years in prison if convicted on the top charge.
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