By Associated Press - Friday, December 5, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Prosecutors say a New York City police officer drove a drug dealer around, offered to arrange a heroin sale and warned a cocaine supplier that police action was coming.

Officer Merlin Alston pleaded not guilty Friday to conspiracy and official misconduct charges. His lawyer, Thomas Kenniff, notes that the indictment “is in no way synonymous with guilt.”

City Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan’s office says the eight-year police veteran helped a drug trafficker deliver cocaine in 2010 and gave him rides and offered to help him buy heroin this spring.

Prosecutors say the 31-year-old Alston also advised a different cocaine supplier in May to tell others to “ghost” and “be gone” from a corner where police were expected.

The police department hasn’t immediately responded to an inquiry about Alston.

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