2 NYPD officers probed for suspected affiliation with far-right militia Oath Keepers, group linked to storming of Capitol

A member of the Oath Keepers looks on as supporters of Donald Trump attend a rally protesting the 2020 election results in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. Bryan Smith/ZUMA Wire/TNS

NEW YORK — A pair of NYPD officers are under investigation for suspected ties to the far-right Oath Keepers militia, an anti-government group linked to the Jan. 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol, the New York Daily News has learned.

The names of Sgt. Stuart Wohl, who works in Firearms Training, and Officer Aniello Napoli of the department’s Strategic Response Group, appeared in hacked rosters purporting to identify members of the Oath Keepers and were identified by the Daily News from those documents.

An NYPD official confirmed an Internal Affairs investigation was launched Thursday and the department plans to interview both once its probe is complete.

The Daily News visited Napoli’s home Thursday but could not reach him for comment. A phone message left for him was not returned Friday. Wohl referred a reporter to the NYPD’s press office. Unions representatives for both officers did not immediately comment.

Both officers remained on active duty as the investigation continued. The department bars its members from knowingly associating with organizations involved in criminal activities.

“As an officer you took an oath to protect the Constitution,” said the NYPD official. “The Oath Keepers have not been designated a terrorist grouping but members have been charged for Jan. 6 as part of a conspiracy.”

The source said Wohl and Napoli are not suspected of attending the Jan. 6 insurrection. No active duty NYPD officer has been accused of joining the mob.

The 38,000-person roster does not make clear how involved each person is in the Oath Keepers.

Gothamist first reported that the names of active duty NYPD officers appeared in the hacked roster.

Another NYPD officer was already under scrutiny for his ties to Roger Stone, a close associate of ex-President Donald Trump. Sal Greco, who remains on active duty with the Citywide Traffic Task Force, was in Washington the day of the insurrection and the day before, the Daily News previously reported.

Greco was was captured on video outside a D.C. hotel with Stone and members of the Oath Keepers militia, who were acting as bodyguards.

The group’s founder has in the past claimed his group recruited a large number of current and ex-cops to their cause, along with first responders and members of the military.

Public records show five insurrectionists linked to the Oath Keepers already pleaded guilty to charges in the violent charge that followed a speech by Trump and cut off a Senate vote to verify President Joe Biden’s victory two months earlier in the White House race.

According to one indictment, 18 members of the group shoved their way to the front of the horde forcing its way inside the landmark Washington building.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio promised swift action to identify and discipline anyone involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection as the U.S. Senate gathered to confirm Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.

“We need a full investigation, and there will be a full investigation to find out exactly if any officer was involved,” the mayor said. “How were they involved? What did they do? What did they say? If it’s the kind of thing that would disqualify them from serving — as you see in the discipline matrix, there are very, very clear penalties for that kind of activity.”

Other people listed in the roster with ties to the New York City area include a retired member of the NYPD’s Highway Patrol unit, a retired MTA cop, an investigator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a retired state trooper and an MTA bus supervisor.

The roster is part of a massive data dump stemming from the hack of Epik, an internet services company popular among the far right. The data dump includes credit card transactions, email accounts and information on the owners of racist extremist websites.

A data breach notice from the company indicates at least 110,000 people have had their bank account numbers, credit cards or passwords compromised by the hack.

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Tribune Wire

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