A retired police officer has been accused of killing four men at a Hudson Valley bar as part of an alleged cocaine distribution conspiracy.
Nicholas Tartaglione, a retired Briarcliff Manor officer, was charged with drug conspiracy and four counts of murder in furtherance of a conspiracy in the April killings of four men at a bar in Chester, according to federal prosecutors.
Federal and local officials found the men's bodies on Tartaglione's Otisville property Tuesday, law enforcement sources told NBC 4 New York.
Tartaglione faces the death penalty or life in prison if convicted of any of the murder counts.
"While all murders tear at the fabric of our communities, when the alleged perpetrator of a gangland-style, quadruple homicide is a former police officer, that strikes at the heart of civilized society," said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
An indictment alleges that Tartaglione killed Martin Santos-Luna, 41; Miguel Sosa-Luna, 25; Urbano Morales-Santiago, 35; and Hector Gutierrez, 32; at the nightclub sometime in April. The four men had last been seen in a Chevrolet SUV, which was recovered from a diner in the village on April 11.
A family member talked to Sosa-Luna by phone on April 11, but the men haven't been heard from since then, police said.
Prosecutors alleged that Tartaglione, 49, killed the men as part of a conspiracy to distribute more than 11 pounds of cocaine.
Attorney information for Tartaglione wasn't immediately available. He was held without bail after his arraignment Tuesday.