A pair of cops from the NYPD’s 106th Precinct in Ozone Park were caught in a sting operation for allegedly driving supposed high-end escorts around, according to recently released records.
Former Officers Thomas Diorio and Michael Sardone were busted in an undercover operation conducted by the Internal Affairs Bureau in April and May of 2021. According to the disciplinary records, the officers transported several undercover officers, who were posing as prostitutes, to and from locations in exchange for thousands of dollars on three separate occasions.
One of the undercover officers testified that the operation began with an unrelated investigation into Sardone in February 2021. In her testimony, she alleged that Sardone told her he had someone to do the work with him and put her in contact with Diorio.
She made it clear to them that it was “sex for money.”
“It’s just picking us up, dropping us off,” she told them.
The undercover officer first met with Sardone and Diorio at a Starbucks to finalize plans for the first transport and then they met with her and two other female undercovers at a diner parking lot in Queens to drive them to a hotel in Manhattan.
In one instance, Diorio and Sardone were involved in an argument with an apparent client over not paying the women in full for their alleged services and on other occasions they were made aware of the possession of what appeared to be cocaine, and did not engage in police action, according to the documents.
Sardone has since retired and was not the subject of the police report, though he is cited in it. Diorio submitted his paperwork for retirement in July but was charged with three separate counts in an expedited trial.
Diorio, who was on the job for over 20 years, was found guilty in a department investigation of promoting prostitution, obtaining a benefit in exchange for knowingly refraining from taking law enforcement action against prostitution and narcotics possession and making false or misleading statements during an official interview, according to the police records.
Sardone was once named a Cop of the Month and Diorio received several “exceptional” ratings over the years.
“Respondent’s actions were not based on spur-of-the-moment decisions made under high-pressure situations; rather, he had time for deliberate reflection, and made the knowing and intentional choice to engage in criminal behavior,” wrote Jeff S. Adler, who was the assistant deputy commissioner at the time, of Diorio. “Respondent was plainly motivated by personal gain,” his letter reads. It continues, he “betrayed the public trust, and did damage to the Department’s mission, reputation, credibility, and relationship with the community.”
An NYPD spokesperson reiterated in an email that Sardone’s vested retirement began in August 2021 and Diorio was dismissed that same month. She referred questions regarding criminal charges to the District Attorney’s Office, which could not be reached by time of publication.