A 10-year veteran of the Troy Police Force is accused of tipping off a woman about a drug raid in North Central. 32 year old Patrolman Brian Gross, of North Greenbush, who was assigned to the Community Narcotics Enforcement Team, is accused of telling a young woman that a narcotics team was investigating her brother and planned to raid his home. As a result, Gross faces a felony charge for tampering with physical evidence, as well as misdemeanor charges for two counts of official misconduct- one count of obstructing governmental administration and one count of divulging an eavesdropping warrant. The felony charge carries a maximum jail sentence of 1 1/3- 4 years.
According to a Times Union article, Gross gave an unsolicited statement to an investigator that he “did all of this for a piece of a**,” and warned police that they could expect to find plenty of racy pictures on his cell phone.
Gross’s attorney Stephen Coffey told the Times Union, that his client emphatically denies making any comment to the woman involving sex or anything of the sort. Gross, did however state that he “is going to lose everything,” and that “this is a life ender.”
Gross accompanied by his attorney, his wife, and several supporters, pleaded Not Guilty last Wednesday before Rensselaer County Judge Andrew Ceresia. According to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Gross had “knowledge of and access to investigative intelligence, suspect information and details concerning the timing and location of search warrants.” According to local news station 13, the case against Gross developed after investigators became concerned when they reportedly searched five locations in February at which they previously had found evidence of drug activity, but there was no discernible evidence of the drug enterprise. Many of the addresses implicated by the raid were in the North Central neighborhood.
Gross’s attorney asserts that his client has repeatedly told him that he did not do anything wrong and that he has been a police officer of outstanding integrity in the community. Coffey also stated that the drug investigation in North Central was “not going anywhere anyway,” but “that’s another matter.” Gross has been suspended, with pay, pending the outcome of his case.
According to a previous report by the Times Union, Gross allegedly told his friend through phone conversations, text messages, and in person about the impending raid, to “watch his back,” and to tell the probe’s target to get the drugs out of his house.
The latest court documents reveal that Gross made several unsolicited remarks on July 29, 2014, to an investigator in Troop G. The investigator, who was in an interview room with Gross, reported that Gross allegedly blurted out that he “told those guys [he] should not have been setting this wire. [He] grew up with all these guys.”
The documents indicate that these remarks were made prior to Gross being read his Miranda rights. After being read his Miranda rights, however, Gross allegedly admitted that he traveled to Puerto Rico with one of the people apparently being targeted by the probe.
Last Wednesday the Office of the Attorney General issued a statement, reading in part, “law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities, and we have a duty to hold people accountable if they reveal confidential information that could put the safety of officers in jeopardy. It is troubling that a law enforcement officer would allegedly risk public safety and disrupt a criminal investigation, violating the very laws they are sworn to protect.”