A former Ocean County Sheriff’s Department commander has pleaded guilty to official misconduct and is out of a job after pleading guilty to using cocaine intended for K-9 training for “personal consumption.”
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato announced that Lieutenant John C. Adams, 40, pleaded guilty to second-degree official misconduct and second-degree theft in state Superior Court, Toms River, reported NJ.com.
Adams had been a sworn sheriff’s officer for 16 years before being caught and fired.
As a consequence of his guilty pleas, Adams must forfeit public employment and is ineligible for any future government employment in New Jersey, according to the Prosecutor’s Office. The plea deal also includes 3 years in a state prison for Adams.
The Prosecutor’s Office said the investigation began in January. It said Adams had failed to properly secure cocaine used in the training of the animals and initially falsely reported that the cocaine accidentally was discarded with training items.
The investigation then revealed that Adams blamed other members of the K-9 unit for the cocaine’s disappearance. “This is an unfortunate situation and it demonstrates how drug addiction or problems can affect any family, including the law enforcement family,” said Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy.
Adams is expected to be sentenced on April 6.