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PD: Internal investigation leads to the re-arrest of a Hartford police sergeant

HARTFORD — Police said they have arrested and charged Hartford police sergeant Justin Torniero for the second time Tuesday.

Torniero was suspended without pay in December 2017 when Hartford Police Internal Affairs Investigators arrested and charged him with using a motor vehicle without permission (two counts), larceny in the sixth degree and a computer crime in the fifth degree.

On September 10, the same investigators submitted an arrest warrant for Torniero for charges of larceny in the first degree and larceny in the second. Torniero turned himself in to police on Tuesday.

Police said on March 14,  multiple law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant at 14 John Steele Drive in Farmington.

Police said the search warrant was in relation to illegal narcotics.

John Butler, 52, was arrested by the Connecticut State Police and was found to be in possession of Hartford Police Department issued equipment.

“As a result, the Hartford Police Department Internal Affairs Division was immediately notified,” police said.

“Internal Affairs Investigators conducted an extensive investigation which revealed that Justin Torniero stole the police equipment and provided the stolen property to Butler,” added police.

Police said the equipment stolen included a police-issued ballistic vest and a police-issued mountain bicycle.

Police said the investigation also revealed that Torniero was utilizing cocaine and alcohol, while working in the capacity of a police sergeant for the City of Hartford.

Police said Torniero would drive in a Hartford Police Department vehicle to Torniero’s residence in Farmington while in uniform to partake in cocaine and alcohol use.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin released the following statement:

“This officer has been suspended since last year, after he was arrested for larceny, and these latest charges stem from the Hartford Police Department’s own internal investigation. The criminal activity he has been accused of is egregious, and it goes without saying that it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Torniero is currently being held on a $175,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

No other details were released.