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Source: More NYPD Officers Probed In Bribes For Gun Licenses Scandal

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- More officers – and the command structure of an entire police precinct – are under investigation in the NYPD bribes for gun licenses scandal, sources said Tuesday.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, two police officers and a deputy inspector were already facing administrative actions in the scandal. On Tuesday, others were being looked at as well.

Authorities revealed Monday that the NYPD – which patrols a city with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation – had officers who allegedly sold gun licenses for thousands of dollars. It may have all have started with Alex "Shaya" Lichtenstein, who allegedly conspired for years to bribe police officers to obtain gun licenses from the NYPD and sell them to people in his Brooklyn community.

Lichtenstein was a member of the Borough Park Shomrim, a volunteer Orthodox Jewish patrol. He allegedly offered officers $6,000 per gun license without doing background checks, and then allegedly sold the licenses for $18,000, according to a complaint.

As Lichtenstein left U.S. District Court after being arraigned on bribery and conspiracy charges, probers were already looking to expand their investigation.

Sources told CBS2 that investigators were looking at others in the Firearms Licensing Division, which operates out of One Police Plaza.

Of particular interest, sources said, are two officers who retired recently. Sources said investigators are trying to determine whether one of the officers conducted a consulting business on the side, collecting cash for advice on how to get gun permits and if, sources said, the business was a conflict.

Also under investigation, sources said, is the entire command structure in the 66th Precinct in Borough Park, where Lichtenstein is believed to have sold some of his gun permits.

Already three NYPD officers who were part of the division that processes gun licenses have faced administrative charges related to the widening corruption probe.

Deputy Inspector Michael Endall was transferred from the license division and is being reassigned to an administrative position pending further review, the NYPD said. Sgt. David Villanueva and Police Officer Richard Ochetal were placed on modified assignment and transferred. They also worked in the license division.

Sources said the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau will also study the entire permit process, and make recommendations for change and for a new system of checks and balances.

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