New Haven Police To Shut Down Narcotics Unit Following Arrests

Wednesday, March 14th 2007, 10:10 pm
By: News On 6

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ New Haven's narcotics unit will be shut down after its head and a detective were charged with theft in an FBI sting, and the probe likely will result in more arrests, the city's police chief said Wednesday.

Police Chief Francisco Ortiz did not rule out charges being brought against officers in other departments.

``I think what you're seeing here today is just a sampling of what's to come,'' Ortiz said outside U.S. District Court in Hartford. He did not elaborate, except to predict there would be fewer than 10 arrests.

Ortiz said the narcotics unit will be shut down Friday. Drug investigations will be turned over to the statewide narcotics task force and other units.

New leaders will be assigned to the detective bureau to assess its rules, guidelines and training, said Ortiz and New Haven Mayor John DeStefano.

Lt. William White, the head of the narcotics unit, and Detective Justen Kasperzyk were arrested Tuesday in an eight-month investigation by federal and state authorities. Three bail bondsmen also were arrested.

White, 63, was freed on $2 million bail Wednesday after relatives put up their homes as collateral. He has been charged with stealing nearly $30,000 in what he thought was drug money but was actually cash planted by the FBI.

White also was accused of taking tens of thousands of dollars from the bail bondsmen in return for capturing fugitives who skipped bail.

White referred questions to his attorney, Hubert Santos, who declined to comment after the hearing.

Kasperzyk, 34, was charged with stealing less than $1,000 in money planted by the FBI. He was also accused of taking $800 from the girlfriend of a suspect arrested by narcotics officers.

Kasperzyk's lawyer, Charles Tiernan, said he had no comment about the case when reached at his home late Wednesday.

Both White and Kasperzyk have been placed on paid leave.

Three New Haven bail bondsmen _ Robert Jacobs, 79, and his sons, Paul Jacobs, 48, and Philip Jacobs, 47 _ are accused of paying tens of thousands of dollars to White and other officers to apprehend fugitives who skipped bail. Prosecutors said the bondsmen posted the fugitives' bonds and were at risk of losing a lot of money if they were not caught.

Kasperzyk and the bondsmen posted bail on Tuesday.