TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The second of two New Jersey state troopers facing criminal charges stemming from the high-speed escort of luxury cars down the Garden State Parkway has turned himself in.
State officials say 28-year-old Joseph Ventrella of Bloomingdale met with authorities Tuesday morning and was released a short time later. He’s charged with fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records.
Ventrella’s surrender came one day after Sgt. 1st Class Nadir Nassry surrendered to face tampering with public records or information and falsifying or tampering with records. His lawyer says Nassry will fight the charges.
Nassry and Ventrella were suspended without pay in April after witnesses said they saw the caravan speeding down the Garden State Parkway escorted by two state police cars.
Witnesses said that the state police patrol cars — with emergency lights flashing — were driving in front of and behind the caravan, which included Porsches, Lamborghinis and Ferraris at speeds of more than 100 mph.
State prosecutors have said the two troopers sought to conceal their involvement in the escort by using electrical tape to alter their license plates.
Nassry’s attorney has said his client denies any knowledge of plate taping.
Besides the criminal charges filed against Nassry and Ventrella, administrative charges also were brought against four other members of the state police in connection with a high-speed escort in 2010.
A fifth trooper faces administrative charges for his handling of a ticket issued to the operator of a Lamborghini clocked at 116 mph, also in 2010.
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