Former ‘Cop of the Year’ Gets 10 Years in Prison for Sunrise Cocaine Deal

Phillip Leroy, who won his NYPD precinct’s award of “Cop of the Year” twice, was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in federal prison for his role in a Sunrise, FL, cocaine deal that turned out to be a sting operation.
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Our Palm Beach and Broward County drug crime defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know that although police officers are usually the ones arresting drug dealers, sometimes they actually do the drug dealing themselves.

Originally from Queens, NY, Leroy received his sentence in Fort Lauderdale, FL. As the former New York City police officer learned this week, nobody is above the law. Still, his sentence was relatively lenient and he may be released early for his cooperation with law enforcement.

Although he was arrested in early December of last year, it was not until March of this year that Leroy pleaded guilty to a drug-trafficking conspiracy charge in a Fort Lauderdale federal court. In doing so, he admitted that he traveled to South Florida and used his “off-duty gun” to provide security services for a $200,000, 22-pound cocaine deal. As our Palm Beach and Broward County drug crime defense lawyers know, Leroy’s participation in the drug deal involved assisting in the pick-up of the cocaine and being prepared to flash his badge if the drug dealers were pulled over on their proposed drive back up to the Northeast.

Ironically, the deal turned out to be a sting operate conducted by Sunrise Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Although he faced a minimum of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum of life in federal prison, based on the charge to which he pleaded guilty, the judge apparently imposed the lightest sentence possible, perhaps taking into consideration Leroy’s years of service to the law enforcement community. The son of a police officer, Leroy stood out among his colleagues; for example, the high number of gun-related arrests he made earned him the top award from his precinct in both 2012 and 2014. (Leroy even made arrests on his first day on patrol back in 2009).

In addition to the leniency shown in his minimum sentence, as our Palm Beach and Broward County drug crime defense lawyers know, both the defense team and the prosecution made it clear during the sentencing hearing that Leroy had been cooperative during the course of their investigation. Both prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers in the case indicated that they planned to return to the judge and ask him to reduce Leroy’s punishment because of the help he provided. (According to the Sun Sentinel, federal prosecutors often request sentence reductions of between 10% and 50%, which could mean a reduction down of Leroy’s prison sentence from 10 years to 5 years.)

As you can see, the degree to which you offer assistance in ongoing investigations can affect whether, and by how much, your sentence is reduced. At the same time, the incentive to provide information to law enforcement officers in exchange for a sentence reduction often leads people to provide false information (if they have no substantive information). If you have any questions about this or any other criminal defense issue, or if you’ve been arrested for or charged with a crime in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, please contact our Palm Beach and Broward County drug crime defense lawyers at Leifert & Leifert by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363) to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you.

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