N.Y. School Security Guard Charged with Killing 4 in Cocaine Operation
The security guard and an ex-cop allegedly committed the murders in April 2016 while selling cocaine.
New York school security guard Joseph Biggs helped a retired police officer murder four men as part of a cocaine selling operation, federal authorities say.
Biggs was arrested by FBI agents Thursday morning in Hastings-on-Hudson village, the second arrest in connection with the murders related to a drug distribution scheme involving 5 kilograms of cocaine.
“Murders are always frightening, but when allegedly committed by people entrusted with the safety of others, it is all the more disturbing,” Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said.
In December, retired Westchester County police officer Nicholas Tartaglione was arrested and charged with multiple counts of murder and kidnapping resulting in death. He faces an additional 12 firearms and kidnapping charges and is being held without bail.
Biggs, whose lawyer says he plans to plead not guilty, faces similar charges. Both men face life in prison or death if convicted.
Drug Operation Turns to Kidnap, Murder
The U.S. attorney’s office says that in April of last year, Tartaglione and Biggs lured Martin Luna, 41, to the Likquid Lounge under false pretenses. Luna brought relatives Urbano Santiago and Miguel Luna and acquaintance Hector Gutierrez to the lounge with him.
Tartaglione and Biggs then allegedly kidnapped the four men, held them against their will and shot them to death.
Eight months later, police discovered the four victims’ bodies buried in an upstate farm property owned by Tartaglione.
Authorities believe others may have been involved in the drug ring. In March, former NYPD officer Gerard Benderoth fatally shot himself as FBI agents pulled him over.
Benderoth, who was friends with Biggs on Facebook, was being investigated for his connection with Tartaglione, reports the New York Daily News.
It is believed that Biggs worked in Hastings-on-Hudson village, although Hastings-on-Hudson School District officials denied that they employed Biggs. The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not say which school Biggs worked for.