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Bernard Kerik, NY's Former Top Cop, Released From Prison

Image: Bernard Kerik, NY's Former Top Cop, Released From Prison Former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik arrives at the courthouse for a pre-trial hearing on October 20, 2009 in White Plains, New York.

By Paul Scicchitano   |   Tuesday, 28 May 2013 05:52 PM

Bernard Kerik, the highly-decorated police commissioner of New York City during 9/11, has been released from a federal prison.

Kerik, 57, left the Cumberland facility in western Maryland on Tuesday after serving more than three years of a four-year sentence and was greeted by his wife Hala and two daughters as he arrived at his suburban New Jersey home Tuesday afternoon.

Kerik was catapulted to national hero status for his service on September 11, 2001 along with his then-boss, "America's Mayor" Rudy Giuliani.

But in 2009 he pleaded guilty to tax fraud and lying to authorities over $250,000 worth of free renovations done to an apartment he owned in the Bronx, NY.

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Born in Newark, N.J., Kerik was a high school drop-out who later got his GED and joined the Army. After leaving the military, he landed at the New York City Police Department in 1986. Though a rookie, he was assigned quickly to the narcotics division.

His superiors assigned the street-smart Kerik to infiltrate the Colombia-based Cali drug cartel. He worked in concert with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, and the rookie detective’s story took on French Connection proportions as his beat soon expanded to Central and South America, where he helped the feds seize hundreds of millions in cash and cocaine.

Throughout his police career, Kerik bagged more than 100 awards, including one of the police department's highest awards, the Medal of Valor, a commendation from President Reagan himself, and an honorary appointment as commander of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II.

Kerik will likely serve the remaining five months of his sentence under home confinement.

A family friend told the New York Post and the Daily News that Kerik was planning to celebrate his first evening of freedom with his family and more than a dozen pals with a "robust feast" of beef short ribs, shrimp scampi, fresh mozzarella, and brownies provided by Brownstone caterers, owned by Al Manzo and his wife Caroline of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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