NEWARK — A crooked cop has admitted he collected as much as $95,000 in bribes from brothel owners he protected from police raids.

Julio Rivera, 50, of Old Bridge, pleaded guilty Thursday to bribery and aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false personal tax return, according to federal prosecutors.

He faces up to 13 years in prison when he's sentenced in April. He originally had been facing up to 20 years in prison.

The federal indictment says he took bribes from brothels on Van Buren and Lafayette streets from 2011 to 2012, from a brothel on Emmet Street from 2015 to 2016, and from a brothel on Jackson Street.

Investigators said the brothels employed prostitutes who traveled to Newark from New York and Colombia.

Prosecutors say Rivera's girlfriend and nephew helped him collect the cash.

Investigators said they found text messages in which he and brothel owners refer to the bribes and women as "food."

In 2015, he was ordered by the state Department of Banking and Insurance to pay a $1,575 after lying to his auto insurance company by not reporting that his daughter lived and garaged her vehicle at a different address.

In 2012, he was suspended for 15 days after failing to inform dispatchers where he had been while on duty.

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Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.

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