An award winning West Deptford N.J. police officer has been suspended without pay after being accused of tampering with evidence and filing false reports in order to send people to his drug rehab center.
Since joining the force in 2013, officer Thomas McWain, 30, has won awards for cleaning up the streets of New Jersey by making a lot of arrests for drug possession, reported CBS Philly.
A proclamation given to him by West Deptford Township last year even called him “a source of pride” for the township.
“Here’s a guy making all these drug arrests every month and you are sitting there going, ‘My god this guy is phenomenal…he’s a go-getter’ and then you find out it is not what it appears to be,” said Chief Samuel DiSimone, with the West Deptford Police Department.
DiSimone said, in April, some bodycam footage of McWain came to his attention which shows the officer’s alleged misconduct. A 6 month investigation ensued, and authorities now believe McWain was somehow convincing people to hang out with him and bring drugs.
CBS Philly reported that Officer McWain would show up in a patrol car, make an arrest and then convince that person to go to rehab. Not necessarily because he cared about their well-being, but allegedly because it was a scheme to funnel people in a drug rehab center that Officer McWain allegedly had a financial stake in.
“I worry the people of West Deptford or even Gloucester County, or even of all South Jersey will think that that is how everybody is here and they are not. I would like people to know we are the people who found this out first we did not hide it we did not sweep it under the rug,” said DiSimone.
He is expected to appear in court next month.
(Article By James Carter)