James Burke a former suburban New York police chief, who was in charge of the Gilgo Beach murders investigation before being sentenced to prison in 2016, was arrested Tuesday after authorities said he solicited sex from an undercover park ranger. Burke — the Suffolk County Police Department's chief from 2012 to 2015 — was arrested in Farmingville, a hamlet in Long Island. Burke, 58, was arrested by park rangers and charged with offering a sex act, indecent exposure, public lewdness, and criminal solicitation, said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison, reports USA Today.
Suffolk County park rangers were conducting an operation in plain clothes because of "numerous complaints about quality of life issues" and people soliciting sex at the park. An arrest report obtained by the Associated Press said Burke exposed himself to a ranger and said he was interested in oral sex. Burke attempted to avoid arrest by citing his status as a former law enforcement official, asking the rangers, "Do you know who I am?" according to officials. The former Suffolk County police chief was sent to federal prison in 2016 for assault and obstruction of justice. After serving 40 months in prison, he was released in April 2019.