Edison New Jersey Police Department Extra Duty Racketeering (2016-2018)

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Overview

From November 14, 2016 to May 1, 2018, several officers with the Edison New Jersey Police Department billed the department and were paid for extra-duty job assignments that they did not work.[1]

On June 1, 2018, Sergeant Ioannis (John) Mpletsakis, Sergeant Brian Rossmeyer, Patrolman Gregory Makras, Patrolman James Panagoulakos, and Patrolman Paul Pappas were charged with two counts of official misconduct in the second degree and one count of theft by unlawful taking in the third degree.[1]

In June 2019, the officers were suspended without pay.[2]

On October 19, 2019, the officers were indicted by a grand jury and charged with two counts of official misconduct in the second degree, participation in a pattern of official misconduct in the second degree, financial facilitation of criminal activity in the second degree, conspiracy to commit the crime of financial facilitation of criminal activity in the second degree, theft by unlawful taking in the second degree, and theft by deception in the second degree. Mpletsakis was also charged with promoting organized street crime in the first degree, and Makras was charged with hindering prosecution in the third degree, uttering a forged document in the fourth degree, and fabricating physical evidence in the fourth degree.[3]

In October 2019, Pappas pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree official misconduct, second-degree unauthorized access of computer system, third-degree conspiracy to distribute a controlled and dangerous substance, and fourth-degree stalking. Pappas faces four years in state prison.[4]

On October 23, 2019, the officers asked that the charges be dropped as the prosecutor's office had not presented the case fairly to the grand jury.[5]

On April 16, 2020, a judge dropped the charges.[5]

On May 8, 2020, the prosecutor signed new complaints against the officers.[5]

On July 6, 2020, the same judge dismissed the new complaints, claiming "callous disregard" for his earlier order.[5]

On September 14, 2020, a judge ruled that the officers must be reinstated and given back pay.[6]

On October 14, 2022, a grand jury returned an indictment, charging the officers with racketeering, bribery, theft, money laundering, witness tampering, conspiracy, official misconduct, pattern of official misconduct, hindering apprehension, fabricating evidence, falsifying documents, failure to pay income tax, filing fraudulent tax returns, retaliating against a witness, and retaliation for past official action.[6]

The officers were offered to have the charges dismissed if they resigned from their positions. At least one officer turned down the deal, so the charges will be pursued in court.[6]

Officers Involved


Official Reports

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