Under investigation after providing security for the wife of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán while off-duty, NYPD Officer Ishmael Bailey was charged Wednesday with selling cocaine and accepting bribes during a separate drug sting. The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau launched their investigation into Bailey after noticing him on television providing security to El Chapo’s wife during Guzmán’s trial at Brooklyn federal court in July.
On July 17, Guzmán was sentenced to a life term of imprisonment plus 30 years to run consecutive to the life sentence for being a principal leader of a continuing criminal enterprise – the Mexican organized crime syndicate known as the Sinaloa Cartel. Prior to the sentencing, Officer Bailey was repeatedly photographed while providing security to Guzmán’s wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, who attended every day of her husband’s trial.
On August 27, Bailey met with an undercover police officer posing as a drug dealer. Bailey allegedly agreed to provide security for the dealer while transporting several kilos of cocaine across Queens.
On September 4, Bailey met the “drug dealer” in Astoria and held a duffle bag containing one kilogram of cocaine and two fake kilos. Bailey received $2,500 for helping to transport the bag to another undercover cop at College Point in Queens.
On September 12, Bailey received $10,000 for transporting two kilos of cocaine across Queens. One package was a kilogram of cocaine, and the other package was fake.
On Wednesday, Bailey was charged with first-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, second-degree conspiracy, second-degree bribe receiving, and official misconduct. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
That same day, Queens Acting District Attorney John Ryan released a statement. Ryan said, “The defendant – a 12-year-veteran of the police department – took an oath to enforce the law. Today, sadly, he is accused of taking part in an illicit drug operation. This kind of malfeasance will not be tolerated.”
“In this case, the first-class investigators of the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau identified an officer who allegedly betrayed his sacred oath to the department and to the City and built a case to weed him out,” stated NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill. “In partnership with members of the Integrity Bureau of the Queens District Attorney’s Office, IAB has again proved that there is no place for corruption within the NYPD. When an individual officer intentionally tarnishes the shield worn proudly by thousands before him, he will be held to the highest account the law provides.”
The police department has suspended Bailey without pay. He reportedly wept at his arraignment on Wednesday night as a judge ordered him held on $50,000 bond and $25,000 cash bail.