Cop charged with buying $15 iPhone -- from undercover cop

A sergeant in the NYPD's Internal Affairs department is caught by a sting operation set up by his fellow officers. Who would have imagined you could get an iPhone for $15?

For you, 15 bucks.

This morning, I saw a uniformed cop jaywalking with two lady friends who seemed not to be his next of kin. Well, this is Miami.

He hesitated for a moment and then seemed to think: "Well, why not?"

I found it charming to see an officer of the law bend the rules in such a human way.

I wonder, though, whether the fellow officers of an NYPD Internal Affairs sergeant found it equally charming when he allegedly bought an iPhone from them. For $15.

As the New York Daily News reports it, Sgt. Victor Leandry allegedly paid the $15 to a woman in plain clothes, who turned out to be plainly a lady police officer.

His lawyer, though, is offering a robust defense. John D'Alessandro told the Daily News that the lady in question didn't tell his client that the iPhone was stolen.

After all, if Walmart can sell an iPhone 5 for a mere $127 and an iPhone 4S for a trifling $47, then Sgt. Leandry may not have been getting that much of a bargain.

Especially as he had to go up to Washington Heights to do the deal.

And, in any case, people are often selling off their old iPhones just to get rid of them -- though not always for as little as $15.

Moreover, D'Alessandro explained that the sting operators should have made better use of technology.

He told the Daily News: "There's no video...and we end up with a sergeant who has his reputation dragged through the mud."

When I channel my inner Alan Shore, I wonder whether -- technically -- the iPhone he bought wasn't actually stolen. It was one that was in the possession of, well, a lady police officer.

And lady police officers surely don't peddle stolen goods.

The police insist, though, that local small businesses have been paying kids to steal gadgets -- especially Apple products -- so that they can be resold. Ergo, this sting operation was necessary.

In the end, we're all mercenaries.

We're all looking for a deal, trying to be be one-upmen and hoping we don't get caught.

Yes, it's a little like what Apple accuses Samsung of doing.