Witness set to testify against cop is dead in possible ‘contract killing’
On Wednesday, bail was revoked for an NYPD police officer who is accused of running a violent drug ring after a witness who was supposed to testify against him was killed “Don Corleone” gangland style.
Federal Judge Colleen McMahon noted that the killing certainly had the markings of a contract killing just hours after the victim was found kidnapped from his auto body shop and strangled in the back of his BMW.
“I’ve been around the racetrack once or twice. It certainly sounds like a contract killing,” McMahon said. He added that the killing of the witness felt like “movie violence.”
Federal prosecutors claimed that the witness’s death was ordered by NYPD Officer Merlin Alston, who is accused of drug conspiracy after being a driver and shotgun-toting bodyguard for the witness, Robert Bishun, in a drug ring for four years.
On Wednesday, Bishun was described by prosecutor Tom McKay as a “cooperating witness.”
Following Bishun’s death, as well as reports of violence against other witnesses, Alston was ordered to be remanded into custody, though his attorney, Bradley Henry, claimed that there was no evidence to link Alston to Bishun’s death or any other violence.
“There are other witnesses in this case that are going to be much more devastating than Mr. Bishun would ever be,” he said at court. “So to imagine that Mr. Alston orchestrated this whole thing and set up this robbery to keep an individual who is probably a minor or a somewhat minor cooperator against him from testifying at trial just seems outlandish to me.”