Brewster Police Officer Charged in Sex Trafficking Scheme

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A Village of Brewster police officer was among six individuals indicted in federal court in Brooklyn last week in connection with a sex trafficking and bribery scheme.

Wayne Peiffer, 48, was arrested at his home in Highland and charged as part of a 14-count indictment that included conspiracy to transport minors and the transportation of minors, sex trafficking, conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion, promotion of prostitution, and use of interstate facilities to commit bribery.

According to Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, for more than eight years Peiffer, a Brewster cop since 2006, allegedly directed members of the Cid-Hernandez Sex Trafficking Organization and the Godinez Prostitution Business to deliver women to him, including at the Brewster police station, so that he could engage in sexual activity with the women at no cost.

In exchange, Peiffer provided the Cid-Hernandez Sex Trafficking Organization and the Godinez Prostitution Business protection from arrest, including by advanced warning of law enforcement operations and intervening to prevent arrest.

Since approximately May 2002, Peace stated members of the Queens-based Cid-Hernandez Sex Trafficking Organization allegedly engaged in the sex trafficking of young women and minor girls and the promotion of prostitution.

The Godinez Prostitution Business also regularly caused women to be transported from a location in Queens to various locations, including Brewster, for the purpose of engaging in prostitution.

“As alleged, the defendants conspired to lure young women and minor girls to travel to the United States based on false promises of a better life and forced them into prostitution once they arrived,” Peace stated. “The defendants allegedly received assistance in carrying out this conspiracy from a corrupt police officer who traded the honor of his badge and sworn oath for free sexual services.”

“Our arrest of a police officer isn’t the most egregious facet of this investigation. We allege Mr. Peiffer had sex with the girls being trafficked as payment for his protection of the traffickers,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael J. Driscoll. “The oath law enforcement officers take affirms they will serve and protect law-abiding citizens and vulnerable members of the community, not aid and abet criminals who are abusing young girls and forcing them to have sex against their will.”

Peace said the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Putnam County District Attorney’s Office and Westchester Putnam County Real Time Crime Center provided invaluable assistance with the case.

“As alleged, the individuals named in the indictment were part of an elaborate network of conspirators that used deception and coercion to sell dreams of a better life in the United States to young and impressionable women, who arrived only to be forced into a miserable life of torment, sexual abuse and prostitution at the hands of their captors,” stated Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Ricky Patel. “The criminal organization also allegedly retained the services of a corrupt cop, who betrayed the badge and the people that he swore to protect by being complicit in these deplorable acts and accepting payments in sexual favors. This case involved true collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement partners to bring the hierarchy of this trafficking organization to justice.”

Peiffer and four of the other defendants, who all reside in Queens, were arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge James R. Cho. One defendant remains a fugitive.

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