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NYPD corruption probe nets 4 officer arrests so far

NEW YORK -- Four NYPD police officers and two others were charged in connection with an ongoing corruption investigation, authorities announced.

The officers, who were arrested Monday morning, have been identified as Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, Deputy Inspector James Grant, Officer Richard Ochetal and Sgt. David Villanueva, reports CBS New York.

They are expected to be arraigned later in the day and more details on their arrests will be released during a news conference at noon.

Harrington and Grant, head of the Upper East Side's 19th Precinct, had already been stripped of their guns and badges, and transferred.

Those two, along with, Brooklyn South Deputy Chief Eric Rodriguez and Deputy Chief David Colon, were named in the probe back in April. Rodriguez and Colon were transferred, but it's not clear if they will face charges or not.

So far, nine police officials, including four deputy chiefs, have been transferred or stripped of their guns and badges as internal affairs detectives and FBI agents examine whether officers accepted gifts and trips from businessmen in exchange for police escorts, special parking privileges and other favors.

A NYPD inspector who had been questioned as part of the probe was found in May in his car in West Babylon, New York, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the NYPD. Inspector Michael Ameri was the commanding officer of the city's Highway Patrol Unit.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has said investigators have been examining whether conflict-of-interest rules, guidelines or laws were broken.

Deputy Commissioner Larry Byrne said: "We don't believe that this is deep, systemic corruption throughout the department."

The probe has also involved an investigation of payoffs for gun licenses. Alex "Shaya" Lichtenstein of Brooklyn has been charged with bribing police to give him gun permits without doing background checks or providing justification for owning a gun.

The investigation has also focused on fundraising efforts by Mayor Bill de Blasio and his campaign team.

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