TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey
S. Chiesa announced that a former Newark
police officer was convicted at trial today
of official misconduct for conspiring with
other officers to steal cash, drugs and
weapons from suspected drug dealers and
Smith, 40, was convicted by an Essex County
jury of conspiracy, official misconduct,
and theft. He was acquitted of tampering
with public records or information and falsifying
records. The verdict followed a three-week
trial before Superior Court Judge Peter
V. Ryan in Essex County. The second-degree
conspiracy to commit official misconduct
carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in
state prison, the third-degree official
misconduct charge carries a maximum sentence
of five years in prison, and the disorderly
persons theft charge carries a maximum term
of six months. Judge Ryan scheduled sentencing
for Smith for July 13, 2012.
police officer betrayed the honor of his
uniform and badge by using both to commit
crimes,” said Attorney General Chiesa.
“By ensuring that the few rogue officers
are identified and prosecuted, we protect
the many fine officers of the Newark Police
Department who put their lives on the line
each day. We will continue to aggressively
prosecute those who abuse the public trust.”
verdict should send a strong message that
any police officer who abuses his authority
for criminal purposes will be investigated
and prosecuted to the full extent of the
law,” said Stephen J. Taylor, Director
of the Division of Criminal Justice. “It
is a tribute to the excellent work of the
detectives and attorneys who handled the
case for the Division of Criminal Justice
and the Newark Police Department.”
Attorneys General Cynthia Vazquez and Philip
Mogavero tried the case for the Division
of Criminal Justice. It resulted from an
investigation by the Division of Criminal
Justice and the Newark Police Department.
The prosecution was conducted by the Division
of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau and
the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs &
Organized Crime Bureau.
and another former Newark police officer,
Lawrence Furlow, 50, were charged on Oct.
1, 2004 in separate state grand jury indictments.
A third Newark officer, Tyrone Dudley, 44,
pleaded guilty on Sept. 23, 2004 to third-degree
conspiracy to commit official misconduct
for conspiring with other officers, including
Smith and Furlow, to steal from suspects.
indictment against Smith charged that between
April 2003 and March 2004, he and other
Newark officers engaged in criminal acts
including official misconduct and theft
as part of a conspiracy to steal money from
criminal suspects. The jury found that Smith,
while on duty in Newark's West District,
obtained less than $200 from purported drug
dealers, criminal suspects and others by
“shaking down” the victims and
stealing money, drugs and weapons.
charges against Furlow are pending. He is
scheduled to be tried in May 2012. The indictment
against Furlow charges him with conspiracy,
official misconduct and theft. That indictment
alleges that between December 2001 and December
2003, Furlow conspired with other officers
to steal from criminal suspects and others
while on duty in Newark’s West District.
Newark Police Department suspended Furlow
and Smith at the time of the indictments.
Smith had been a Newark officer since 1993,
and Furlow, since 1996.
investigation was conducted by Lt. Umar
Hakeem and Sgt. William Thomas of the Newark
Police Department Internal Affairs Bureau,
and Lt. Joseph Waters of the Division of
Criminal Justice. It was coordinated by
Supervising Deputy Attorney General Mark
Eliades, Chief of the
Division of Criminal Justice Gangs &
Organized Crime Bureau. Additional detectives
and staff from the Newark Police Department
and its Internal Affairs Bureau assisted
in the investigation.
Attorneys General Vazquez and Mogavero were
assisted at trial and in trial preparation
by Detectives Kevin Weinkauff and Toni Petreski
of the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs
& Organized Crime Bureau and Analyst
Kathleen Ratliff of the Division of Criminal
Justice Corruption Bureau.
General Chiesa and Director Taylor noted
that the Division of Criminal Justice has
established a toll-free Corruption Tipline
for the public to report corruption and
other illegal activities: 1-866-TIPS-4CJ.
Additionally, the public can log on to the
Division Web site at www.njdcj.org
to report suspected wrongdoing. All information
received through the tipline or webpage
will remain confidential.