I am glad to see that the corruption and racketeering of some in the Nassau Country Police Department does not go unchallenged, especially when the victim happens to be a gun shop owner on the border of his royal pompousness Emperor Bloomberg’s fiefdom (formerly known as New York City). $5 million for wrongful arrest from alleged crooked cop with a beef.
The shakedown began in 2006 when Officer Erik Faltings in the Pistol Licensing Bureau of Nassau County came to gun shop owner Martin Tretola and asked him to release some weapons to a friend of Faltings in March of that year. Tretola questioned the legality of such a request and as a responsible gun shop owner refused.
Officer Faltings apparently didn’t like not being obeyed unquestioningly and according to charges in the court documents orchestrated a raid on Tretola’s T&T Gunnery store which included the Nassau County Fire Marshall, Nassau County Bomb Squad and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco. It would seem that Officer Faltings likes to emulate Adolf Hitler who stated that one should lie big since the people would not believe that someone could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.
Tretola’s attorney, Steven Harfenist puts the ordeal succinctly when he states, “I feel (Faltings) had an animus towards Marty. He didn’t like being told he didn’t know how to do his job. He was trying to do somebody a favor and Marty didn’t go along with it. (Faltings) came down with the dogs of war.”
So basically, if you stand up for what is right and not cave into a crooked cop and his cronyism you will get the dogs of war called down upon you. And if you happen to be a gun shop owner, be prepared to have your name besmirched when you are brought up on trumped up gun charges.
The main charge in this case was that Tretola was operating an illegal firing range. When the truth of the matter was he simply maintained a trap box – a device for safely discharging bullets from gun for test purposes. That charge was dismissed.
Faltings wasn’t satisfied with having his vendetta interrupted by facts or the law so he later brought up charges for filing a false instrument for licensing requirements. That charge was also dismissed.
The harassment and intimidation attempts did not stop there, last year Tretola was arrested for illegally selling assault weapons. That charge was also dismissed.
Of course, the Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli comes to the defense of his crooked officer dismissing the claim that Faltings had targeted Tretola. Of course, with all the dismissing Ciampoli has dealt with in this case, maybe that is just his knee jerk reaction. Thankfully, the federal jury in awarding Mr. Tretola $5 million wasn’t swayed by the thin blue line but rather took into account what was plain to see, badge or not a vendetta is a vendetta.
Ciampoli, instead of admitting there’s a crooked cop on the payroll and going after the criminal wearing a badge has decided to ask for the verdict in Tretola’s case to be set aside, and if that doesn’t work filing an appeal.
And people wonder why I will not willingly forfeit my rights to an officer on his whim. Be they my 1st, 2nd, 4th, or 5th, I will not give up any rights for the ol’ “go along to get along” idiom. The police are people just like anyone else. Some are good people and others are not.
One should be wary in knowing which one they are dealing with because every so often you will, especially as a gun owner, come across an Officer Faltings who would use his badge for his own nefarious and selfish desires.
I would like to hope that a $5 million loss to the county would wake Officer Faltings or the county itself that such shenanigans and criminal activity will not be tolerated by the public servants but there’s the rub. Neither Officer Faltings, nor DA Ciampoli will have to pay one red cent to this. This buck gets passed onto the good taxpayers of Nassau County.
I hope they remember who tolerates breaches of the public trust come next election.
More on the story can be read here.