Prosecutors say that a New York police officer conspired with the brother of one of Albania's most wanted criminals to convince business owners in Queens to pay them monthly protection payments. The shining beacon of New York's finest is also accused of stalking his former mistress.
The cop's been accused of shaking down multiple businesses, but prosecutors have specifically cited an Albanian restaurant owner. The owner had just opened a restaurant in Astoria, when he received a visit from Redinel Dervishaj, an Albanian criminal who was also the focus of an NYPD manhunt in Staten Island last year.
After Dervishaj told him he'd have to pay to "operate in our neighborhood," the restaurant owner called Officer Besnik Llakatura for help. Llakatura, who prosecutors say was working with Dervishaj, told the restaurant owner that to pay it because, "These people run Astoria."
According to prosecutors, Llakatura also told the restaurant owner not to call the cops. He also implied the restaurant owner's family was in danger. At some point, a third gangster partner, Denis Nikolla, threatened the restaurant owner at gunpoint.
The restaurant owner made the payments, about $24,000 in all. Llakatura was paid around $6,000.
What Llakatura didn't realize was that the restaurant owner had gone to the FBI, who had been supplying the payment money.
When she tried to break off their relationship and report him to the police, the feds intercepted a call in which the cop ordered his wife to get rid of a stash of guns he kept in a linen closet and dump them in the woods.
Llakatura is also the subject of a federal lawsuit alleging he and four other officers brutalized a black motorist.