(photo credit: HANDOUT)
Avroham Gross, a former Latin Kings gang member who converted to Judaism, has been sentenced to at least two-and-a-half years in prison for impersonating an NYPD cop.
A Brooklyn Supreme Court judge handed down the sentence and rejected a request by Gross to keep his beard intact for religious reasons, the New York Daily News reported. The judge also refused to allow Gross to get back his car and mobile phone.
The 41-year-old New Yorker faces multiple charges after posing as a police officer and pretending to be a part of a task force to prevent child abuse. Gross sported a fake police badge and a custom-made NYPD ring, installed sirens and lights on his private car, and helped arrest a woman he saw breaking into a car. He also pulled over a New Jersey Transit bus who cut him off.
Formerly known as Roberto Eddy Santos, the ex-gangster was affiliated with a Brooklyn chapter of the Latin Kings in the early 1990s. He served a decade in the Sing Sing correctional facility -- a maximum security prison in New York -- where he says he delved into Judaism, ultimately converting to the religion. He identifies with the ultra-Orthodox Satmar sect.
At the Brooklyn Family Court on Tuesday, Gross pleaded guilty to impersonating a policeman, signing a fake log book and forging city parking permits.