Joseph Ammaturo, 38 of Long Branch and a 14 year veteran of the Deal Police Department, pleaded guilty to Third Degree witness tampering on Thursday, according to an announcement by Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Ammaturo losses his pension from the Deal PD, where he has been suspended without pay, and is ineligible for future public employment.
Judge David Bauman is scheduled to impose additional sentencing, probation, on September 4, 2020.
Ammaturo admitted to tampering with a witness in a pending investigation into narcotic charges against him. In December of 2018 he was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and withness tampering. In July 2019, he was charged with possessing Clenbuterol, Testosterone Cypionate and Doxycyclin, and intending to distribute Clenbuterol, a drug not approved for human use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“We will continue to hold law enforcement officers accountable for their actions. Bad cops will be weeded out as their illegal actions or infidelity of the public trust are discovered. Mr. Ammaturo can never hold public office in New Jersey ever again – that, coupled with probation, is an appropriate sentence. The community expects better of a law enforcement officer, and the law enforcement community holds its own officers to a higher standard. Mr. Ammaturo failed us all,” Prosecutor Gramiccioni said.
“Any violations of the law and betrayal of the public’s trust will not be tolerated by the members of the Deal Police Department,” said Deal PoliceChief Ronen Neuman. “We will not allow the actions of this officer to tarnish the commitment and integrity of the men and women of this department. Our officers are highly trained and dedicated professionals that serve with honor, dignity, and respect. The public should be reassured that as an accredited agency our officers are held accountable in both upholding and enforcing the laws.”