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Stephen Del Corso

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Blue domino
Stephen Del Corso  More Info

From the History of the New York Police Department 

Besides the marine Court, there was a Justices' Court held in every ward, in which one person presided, who was called an assistant Justice. He tried questions of debt and trespass to the amount of twenty-five dollars, and generally all actions competent to all other justices in the State where the amount did not exceed twenty-five dollars. The Justices of these courts were remunerated out of fees prescribed by law, on the proceedings in their respective courts.

A change was affected in the law concerning assistant Justices, on January 4, 1820, by reducing their number, as follows: One was appointed for the first, second and third wards, one for the fourth and sixth wards, one for the fifth and eighth wards, and one for the seventh and tenth wards; each Justice to hold a court for the trial of causes to the amount of fifty dollars and under. The salary of each was one thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars per year, and certain fees were allowed when more than twenty-five dollars was recovered. It was not lawful for more than thirty of the Marshal to serve processes issuing out of the court of any assistant justice, such Marshal to be commissioned by the Mayor.

The first faint movement toward uniforming the peace officers was to oblige them to wear a certain style of hat to distinguish them from the general crowd. On July 23, 1821, the order to wear these hats was abolished; a painted plate to be worn by each office when on duty in front of his own cap, was made optional. Another and more pleasing enactment was adopted, as a sort of Christmas present, on December 24 of this year. This allowed Captains and privates of the Watch one dollar a day each for attendance at the Court of General Sessions on duty, growing out of their duties as Watchmen. The next year, this rule was made to include the Court of Oyer and Terminer. The same committee which reported this ordinance, was also ordered to consider the petition of the Watchmen for an increase of salary. The committee found that there were a great number of applications for berths as Watchmen, and that neither mechanical labor nor the cost of living was higher than it was when the pay was set at the figure that then prevailed. An increase was therefore opposed. In 1825, however, a resolution was carried allowing the Captains, assistants, and Watchmen of the different districts of the City Watch, a compensation to twelve and a half cents a night additional to their regular pay.


Our Police Protectors

Holice and Debbie

Stephen Del Corso and Bill Erwin were narcotics detectives in the New York Police Department.  They co-authored the true story, Blue Domino.  According to the book description, “Blue Domino is a cop's-eye view of a narcotics case so big and so successful that it resulted in the conviction of 86 major heroin dealers.  It is also the story of the "Lady in Pink," a beautiful Puerto Rican drug courier who turned out to be the key to the case.  And it is the story of the biggest bribe ever offered a detective in the history of the New York Police Department.”


The book cover says, “Detectives Steve Del Corso and Bill Erwin had worked narcotics before and knew that the heroin network was almost impossible to breach.  It was frustrating work.  Then, one day in 1972, Steve and Bill tailed a known dealer to a quiet block in East Harlem, and before their eyes saw millions of dollars of heroin changing hands right out in the open, on the sidewalk in front of the local fruit store, barbershop, and tavern.  The street was Pleasant Avenue, and its drug traffic was pumping forty to fifty kilos of heroin a week into New York, and from there to other cities in America.  The heroin network, the detectives now decided, was really like a row of dominoes-if they could knock over Pleasant Avenue, all the major dealers of the northeast would go down behind it. 


The story of how they did it was a landmark case in narcotics law enforcement.  This is the case that could never have been prosecuted if a detective hadn't received a videotape camera for Christmas.  Concealed in a window on Pleasant Avenue, that camera eventually recorded thousands of hours of drug transactions as they took place.  This is the case that would never have come to trial if Del Corso and Erwin had not befriended Dolores Gomez, a tough, street-smart drug courier who risked her life by turning state's evidence.  And this is the case that could have been blown if Del Corso and Erwin had accepted the biggest bribe ever offered two New York City detectives: $250,000 to destroy the evidence they'd collected-and kill Dolores Gomez.” 

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