Indictment Unsealed: Troy Drug Unit officers facing criminal charges

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Two top cops in the Troy Police Department are facing charges related to a story NEWS10 ABC first brought you last summer.

They’re facing several charges including trespassing, official misconduct, and falsifying records.

This all stems from the suspension of the entire Drug and Firearms Unit within the Troy Police Department back in June.

This 14 count indictment alleges what sources told us then that officers went into a home without a warrant and then tried to cover their tracks.

Ron Epstein and John Comitale Jr. are both decades-long veterans of the Troy Police Department and they’re now both facing charges.

“The conduct alleged in this indictment is an aberration.”

Special DA Paul Czajka is prosecuting this case where Epstein faces 14 counts against him and Comitale faces four.

The pair’s attorneys say their clients did nothing wrong.

“My client’s name is being dragged through the mud needlessly for something he didn’t do.”

Shane hug represents Epstein and says his client didn’t do anything alleged in the indictment.

“We look forward to our day in court where he’s going to be acquitted.”

Comitale’s attorney Andrew Safranko says this is a vindictive move by Czajka because Epstein didn’t take a plea deal on previous charges.

“This is just nothing more than a way for the special prosecutor to attempt to extort a guilty plea out of Mr. Epstein.”

Both Epstein and Comitale are accused of entering a home on Oak Wood Ave without a warrant, discovering cocaine there, but leaving without taking into possession because they had entered illegally.

“He went there to do his job that day and that’s what he did.”

Further, the indictment says Epstein then wrote a false report to cover it all up and even bribed other officers to keep it under wraps.

According to Czajka, those officers refused and he commends them.

“This is a story about several courageous young Troy Police officers who came forward at great risk to themselves and their career.”

Back in June, when the unit was placed on leave by then-Police Chief John Tedesco spoke to me about those suspensions.

Epstein wouldn’t say if he planned to call the former chief as a witness but does question the role he may have played in all of this.

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