NYPD Cops Charged With Stealing $2,900 Worth of Jay-Z Brand Champagne From Electric Zoo VIP Tent
Prosecutors say three detectives tried to steal bottles of the rapper's pricey Ace of Spades champagne brand, but that concertgoers caught them in the act.
Three NYPD detectives are facing criminal charges over allegations that they stole nearly $3,000 worth of Jay-Z’s Ace of Spades brand champagne from the VIP area during last year’s Electric Zoo festival.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced Monday (May 15) that Jonathan Gonzalez, 33, and Wojciech Czech, 44, would each face a charge of grand larceny in the fourth degree and a charge of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree — both felonies — over the September 2022 incident at the yearly electronic music festival.
Gonzalez and another detective, Warren Golden, 31, were also charged with official misconduct, Bragg’s office said.
“In addition to the alleged theft that occurred, none of the Officers working at the event stepped up and stopped this activity,” Bragg said in a statement announcing the charges. “Public confidence in the criminal justice system depends on members of law enforcement acting with the utmost integrity while on duty and following the same rules that apply to everyone else.”
In a statement, the NYPD told Billboard: “As a result of the continuing joint investigation with the Internal Affairs Bureau and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, two NYPD officers were arrested and subsequently suspended from duty today. The NYPD will continue to pursue the facts in this investigation and initiate further discipline where appropriate.” It’s unclear which two detectives have been arrested.
Gonzalez, Czech and Golden could not immediately be located for comment, nor could representatives for the officers.
According to prosecutors, all three detectives were working narcotics at the festival when they noticed that several VIP attendees had ordered bottles of Armand de Brignac — a pricey brand of champagne co-owned by Jay-Z that’s better known as “Ace of Spades” because of a giant spade on the bottle.
When the concertgoers stepped away, prosecutors say Gonzalez took two unopened bottles — valued at a whopping $2,900 total — and grabbed a backpack. Czech then allegedly handed him the bottles to place into the bag, while Golden allegedly stood by and did nothing.
Prosecutors say that when the trio left the VIP tent and forced their way into a staff-only area, they were pursued and confronted by two attendees who saw the theft and reported it to a security guard.
“Following a brief interaction between the attendees, the defendants, and the security officer, the two bottles were taken from defendant Gonzalez’s bag and returned to the attendees,” the official charging document reads. “The three defendants then left the area and returned to their command. The security officer notified his supervisors, who in turn notified the NYPD.”
It’s unclear exactly what kind of sentences the three could be facing if they’re convicted. Fourth-degree grand larceny and possession of stolen property charges can result in as much as four years in prison under New York law. But criminal sentences can widely vary based on many factors, including potential cooperation by defendants, and could potentially only include probation and fines.
Read the actual charging documents here: