- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - Prosecutors say a suspended New York City police officer standing trial on drug and weapons charges acted as a spy, tipping off drug dealers and accompanying them on drug runs.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Merlin Alston was the “right hand man” for a Bronx drug dealer for several years.

Gabriel Reyes, who was arrested last year on drug and weapons charges, says Alston went on drug deliveries and gave Reyes a Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association card to help him avoid penalties in traffic stops.

Alston’s lawyers say the dealers will say anything to get a plea deal.

The New York Daily News reports Alston’s bail was revoked last month after a witness was found strangled and stuffed in the back of his car with a zip tie wrapped around his neck.

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