A New Jersey police lieutenant allegedly stole cocaine and fentanyl from the county prosecutor’s evidence room. As higher-ups started to inquire about his actions, he attempted to return the drugs in a “substantially different” state, according to state authorities.
According to a statement from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Kevin T. Matthew, a 47-year-old resident of Cedar Grove, has been accused of deliberately making multiple cash deposits at various banks on different days. The alleged purpose behind this action was to avoid the banks’ federal obligation of reporting transactions exceeding $10,000.
State prosecutors have alleged that two razor blades were discovered in his office at the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and were later found to be positive for cocaine after testing.
The authorities did not explicitly reveal their suspicions regarding the police officer’s intentions with the drugs. However, they stated in the criminal complaint that his actions were driven by a desire to personally benefit from them, either through personal use, financial gain, or to cover up his misconduct.
“In a statement, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin expressed his disbelief and condemnation of the defendant’s actions, describing them as a shocking and bold disregard for the law. As a high-ranking officer who had taken an oath to uphold the law, the defendant’s conduct is deeply troubling.”
The Post first disclosed the attorney general’s investigation into the veteran police officer last month.
Matthew was taken into custody on Tuesday, as stated in the complaint. The Attorney General has filed a range of charges against him, including second-degree official misconduct, tampering with public records, structuring financial transactions, drug possession, and possession of paraphernalia.
According to Platkin, Matthew, a member of the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit, allegedly obtained the drugs without any legitimate reason and signed them out during the period from October 2022 to November 2023.
Matthew, who has been on leave from the prosecutor’s office since November 3, was also reportedly captured on camera entering and exiting the agency’s Paramus headquarters with bags large enough to hold the narcotics he had signed out.
Platkin admitted that when he returned the drugs, they appeared significantly altered from when he initially obtained them. However, he attempted to deceive others by presenting them as if they were still in the same condition.
“Serving in law enforcement is a position that requires the utmost public trust,” stated Platkin. “When officers betray that trust through illegal actions, it is our duty to ensure they are held accountable.”
Matthew’s lawyer, Charles Sciarra, who is based in Clifton, finds the allegations to be “weird.” He firmly asserts that his client, Matthew, is innocent and emphasizes that Matthew did not engage in any criminal activity.
The lawyer found it “curious” that Matthew was both accused of taking the drugs and then returning them.
Sciarra stated that the behavior exhibited by the individual portrayed as a drug user/dealer is atypical. Furthermore, it is unusual for a master criminal to deposit all the illegally acquired money in a local bank.