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Video: N.J. Troopers Charged In High-Speed Escort

July 27, 2012  | 

VIDEO: N.J. Troopers Escort Racers

Two New Jersey State Police troopers who allegedly led a high-speed escort for members of a luxury car club in March will face criminal charges, the State Attorney General announced Friday.

Four troopers face disciplinary charges in connection with the improper State Police escort involving similar vehicles in 2010. In a third case, disciplinary charges were announced for a trooper who improperly handled a traffic ticket issued to a member of a driving club who was stopped for speeding on the Garden State Parkway in his Lamborghini in 2010.

"The conduct alleged here jeopardized public safety and undermined the trust the public places in law enforcement and the State Police," said Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa. "Serious misconduct by any state trooper must be met with serious discipline and, where warranted and appropriate, criminal charges."

The State Police also announced a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for troopers governing escorts that's "designed to enhance the safety of motorists," according to a release.

"Clearly, there is no double standard for troopers," said Colonel Rick Fuentes, state police superintendent.

Sgt. First Class Nadir Nassry, 47, a trooper for 25 years who allegedly led the March 30 caravan and enlisted the other trooper in the unauthorized escort, was charged with third-degree tampering with public records or information and fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records. Trooper Joseph Ventrella, 28, who has six years of service, was charged with fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records.

Both troopers allegedly altered their license plates by using black electrical tape to change the numbers on the plates. Nassry also allegedly instructed the other drivers in the caravan to conceal or partially conceal their plates using tape or other means.

Nassry and Ventrella were suspended without pay commencing on April 23. If convicted of the criminal charges, both Nassry and Ventrella would forfeit their jobs and would be permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey.

Disciplinary actions against the two troopers who led the June 27, 2010, escort have resulted in administrative charges being filed against both troopers for improper conduct of an escort and unsafe driving. In addition, administrative charges were filed against two supervisors in this case for improper supervision.

The Jan. 17, 2010, case involving the Lamborghini driver, who was issued a ticket for driving 116 m.p.h. in a 65 m.p.h. zone on the Garden State Parkway in Paramus, resulted in disciplinary charges against the trooper involved for improper conduct related to the stop and his handling of the ticket.

The five troopers who have been charged administratively face unpaid suspensions.

The new S.O.P. outlines when police escorts can be authorized; lists factors to be considered when authorizing an escort; identifies the chain of command and specific proceedures for authorizing an escort; and provides guidance about how escorts should be conducted, including clear instructions on observing posted speed limits and avoiding use of passing lanes.


N.J. State Police Suspend Troopers In High-Speed Escort

Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Jason Barnes @ 7/27/2012 7:41 PM

What a shame that the same laws and standards do not apply to politicians. When I worked in Washington, DC, Mayor Marion Barry used to get a kick out of high speed motorcades. When he had to leave town on a boondoggle, for example, he would wait until the last minute as an excuse to have a high-speed escort and motorcade take him to Dulles Airport. I don't like the officers' behavior in this fancy car incident, but I think Mayor Barry's behavior which he did frequently is far worse. And yes, btw, this is the same Barry who was caught buying least twice. He was finally convicted but the idiot voters in Wash, DC reelected him anyhow.

George @ 7/27/2012 7:42 PM

It appears that proper SOP procedures relating to this SPECIFIC matter and all actions accused therein were not in place at the time of the alleged incident. As a result I caution the legality of the Administrative staff on their intended disclipany plans. You cannot break a procedure code if there is not one in existance. EX: A law is not a law unless it's been made a law. There may be a lesser offense (speeding?) and/or public safety issue but based on the actual degree of which a life was put in danger. All questions must be taken into considreration and answered before you can justify the ending of a persons career. Yes, there is a degree of wrong here that needs to be handled properly but with caution on behalf of obviously eager Administrators. It just might be time for a cup of coffee and a little thinking. Remember the old 'spirit of the Law' that you were taught a long time ago.

JJ @ 7/27/2012 9:37 PM

Recless driving by all concerned could have cost lives of inocent people. The officers are paid to PROTECT AND TO SERVE

Frank @ 7/28/2012 3:57 AM

They were wrong, Period! Unauthorized escort no emergency here. What makes it worst he was doing it for people with high performance cars without authorization.

Russ @ 7/30/2012 5:11 AM

Excuse me, but since nothing bad (accidents, injuries, etc.), actually DID happen, the remaining issue becomes the major issue - dishonesty. Altering the numbers on their cruisers and advising the civilians to alter the appearance of their license plates? Altering the appearance of license plates to prevent proper identification is a criminal offense in every state I know of. The dishonesty of the actions with the plates and the cruiser ID numbers certainly wasn't accidental. They're washed up as officers able to testify under oath as far as I'm concerned. If proven guilty of any of that - fire them. Good riddance!

DPB @ 7/30/2012 2:57 PM

Being stupid is bad enough. I made my share of mistakes as a rookie and young officer, but I always admitted what I did and accepted my discipline like a man and without complaint; after all I made the decisions. Integrity was the thing that defined me. I am still active at 37 years and counting and all I can say is these officers have no integrity and should not be allowed to carry the badge.

RJM @ 7/30/2012 6:56 PM

Hey DPB quit tooting your own horn. Nobody cares about how integrity defined you.

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