Four NYPD officials were busted Monday morning as part of the sweeping federal corruption probe rocking the police department and Mayor de Blasio’s office, law enforcement.
Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, Deputy Inspector James Grant, Sgt. David Villanueva and Richard Ochetal were arrested at their homes at 6 a.m. by FBI agents and hauled into 26 Federal Plaza in lower Manhattan, sources said.
The arrests mark the first time NYPD officers have been charged in the 2 ½ year probe, which focuses on lavish gifts and vacations cops accepted in exchange for official services, such as security details and police escorts.
De Blasio’s buddy, Jeremy Reichberg a police buff known for his NYPD connections, was also taken away in handcuffs. Reichberg, the proprietor of a venture capital firm, allegedly gave gifts to several officers in return for favors.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and FBI officials will detail the charges against the four defendants at a news conference later this morning.
Announcing public corruption charges against NYPD officers @ noon press conference. https://t.co/b8sBqcrYmG
— US Attorney Bharara (@PreetBharara) June 20, 2016
Law enforcement sources have told The Post that several of the officers are tied to two Brooklyn businessmen who donated to Mayor de Blasio’s election campaign.
One of the businessmen, Jona Rechnitz, has already pleaded guilty to corruption charges and is now cooperating with the FBI.
Several more current and former police officials are still being investigated, including retired NYPD Chief of Department Phil Banks who, along with his best friend and former correction union boss Norman Seabrook, allegedly took a freebie vacation with Rechnitz and other NYPD cops.
Seabrook was recently arrested on corruption charges and pleaded not guilty.
Many NYPD officers have retired or have been placed on modified duty since the start of the criminal probe.
One officer, Michael Milici, was fired for refusing to cooperate with the feds and another, Inspector Michael Ameri, fatally shot himself after being grilled by FBI investigators.
The feds are also probing into the mayor’s fundraising practices and some of his closest confidantes in an effort to find out if favors, contracts or positions were offered for campaign donations.