By Jonathan Sperling
A former NYPD vice squad detective who pleaded guilty to corruption after he admitted to operating a prostitution and a gambling ring was sentenced to up to 12 years in prison on Tuesday in Queens Supreme Court.
Retired Detective Ludwig “Agua” Paz’ scheme spanned Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island, and allegedly involved seven active duty NYPD police officers and nearly three dozen civilians, according to Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan.
Paz’ wife, Arelis Peralta, pleaded guilty in May and is currently serving a one-year-long prison sentence.
Justice Ronald Hollie handed down the four-to-12-year-long sentence Tuesday.
“A former vice detective used his insight and knowledge of NYPD operations to run lucrative prostitution and gambling rings. Furthering his criminal actions, the defendant used his connections with active duty officers to corrupt them into participating in his illegal ventures,” Ryan said in a statement following the sentencing.
“The Court’s sentence today is more than just,” Ryan added.
Paz, 51, and Peralta, 43, established brothels at Liberty and Onderdonk Avenues in Queens; on Gates, Foster and Fourth Avenues and 42nd Street in Brooklyn and on Front Street in Hempstead, Long Island.
In May, Brooklyn South Vice Detective Rene Samaniego, one of the active cops involved in the scheme, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted enterprise corruption. The cops were accused of feeding Paz information about upcoming raids and other law enforcement actions.
Samaniego is scheduled to be sentenced on July 24 to two to six years in prison.