Prosecutors stated Monday when they announced the indictments of all three cops, that two New York City police detectives have been charged with stealing expensive Champagne while on duty at an electronic music festival, and a third detective did nothing to stop them.
Wojciech Czech and Warren Golden, two detectives, were charged on Monday and placed on administrative leave. Czech entered a not-guilty plea to the felony charges of grand theft and criminal possession of stolen property, while Golden entered a not-guilty plea to the misdemeanor charge of official misconduct. Both were freed without posting bail.
Later this week, a third detective, Jonathan Gonzalez, is scheduled to be charged with all three offenses.
Detective Czech’s attorney, Oliver Storch, stated that his client “loves being in the business of protecting and saving lives” and that “Detective Czech is shocked and saddened by the criminal charges.”
Gonzalez’s legal representative, Peter E. Brill, stated that the accusations “come from a misunderstanding of the facts, and after a jury has had the opportunity to hear the evidence in this case, he will be cleared of all charges.”
The attorney for Golden has been contacted for comment.
On September 3, the three detectives were on duty at the Electric Zoo concert on Randall’s Island to police narcotics laws.
According to Manhattan’s prosecutors, Gonzalez allegedly took two unopened bottles of Ace of Spades Champagne from a VIP table.
According to the prosecution, Gonzalez briefly laid the bottles down to get a backpack, then Czech took part by bringing them back to Gonzalez. Golden allegedly stood by and did nothing to stop it.
Prosecutors claimed that some festival goers who had purchased the Champagne realized what had transpired and challenged the investigators before a festival security guard, who then informed his employer. Police were called by the employer.
Prosecutors claim that Gonzalez took the $2,900 worth of Champagne out of his backpack and returned it to the people who had ordered it.
Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg stated in a news release that “public confidence in the criminal justice system depends on members of law enforcement acting with the utmost integrity while on duty and adhering to the same rules that apply to everyone else.”
Since last fall, all three detectives have been working on altered cases. According to a statement released Monday, the New York Police Department will “continue to pursue the facts in this investigation and initiate further discipline where appropriate.”