An Ocean County Sheriff’s officer pleaded guilty this week to charges he misappropriated cocaine intended to be used to train K9 dogs to detect the substance.
Lt. John C. Adams, 40, a 16-year veteran of the department, entered guilty pleas Thursday before Superior Court Judge Wendel E. Daniels to charges of official misconduct and theft.
According to Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Adams was serving as the commander of the department’s K9 unit at the time of the incident. It is believed that Adams personally consumed the cocaine, Della Fave said.
The guilty plea is the result of an investigation that began in Jan. 2017, which ultimately uncovered that Adams had failed to properly secure cocaine used in the training of canine animals. Adams initially falsely reported that the cocaine was accidentally discarded with canine training items, prosecutors said. Upon further investigation, it became apparent that Adams had blamed other members of the K-9 Unit for the cocaine’s disappearance after he diverted in excess of one kilogram of the controlled substance from its intended training purposes and used it for his personal consumption.
As a consequence of his guilty pleas, Adams must forfeit his public employment, where he earned $116,468 per year, according to state records. He is also ineligible for any future government employment in the state of New Jersey. The plea agreement requires Adams to serve a three-year prison term, which includes a mandatory period of parole ineligibility of two years.