A Staten Island cop pleaded guilty Tuesday to shaking down the owner of a Queens pizzeria for illegal “protection” money, federal authorities said.
Besnik Llakatura also copped to extorting $1,000 per week from the operator of two social clubs in Astoria.
Llakatura, 37, and two co-conspirators, carried out a good-guy, bad-guy scheme with the victims.
The goons would threaten the victims to pay up if they wanted to operate in Astoria.
Then Llakatura would step in, pretending to befriend the victims and advise them it would be better to pay the money rather than notify the police.
Llakatura faces up to life in prison, but his federal sentencing guidelines are 154 to 171 months when he is sentenced by Brooklyn Federal Judge Eric Vitaliano on Feb. 26.
“Mr. Llakatura has accepted responsibility for his unfortunate behavior and we are confident the judge will consider all the facts and circumstances and render an appropriate sentence,” said defense lawyer Eric Franz.
The co-defendants, Denis Nikolla and Redinel Dervishaj, are scheduled for trial in March. Llakatura will not testify against them.
Llakatura was formerly assigned to the 120th Precinct and has been suspended without pay and held without bail since his arrest two years ago.
“I have no tolerance for corruption at any level in this department,” said NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton.
Last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown charged two Queens cops with shaking down the owners of karaoke bars in Flushing.