NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey State Police sergeant who led an unauthorized escort of a high-speed sports car caravan to Atlantic City in 2012 pleaded guilty Monday for his role in the case, officials said.
Sgt. First Class Nadir Nassry pleaded guilty to altering the numbers on the license plates of his police car during the incident, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said.
He and trooper Joseph Ventrella, who assisted in the escort, agreed to forfeit their jobs with the State Police.
Nassry, 47, who led the March 30, 2012 caravan and Ventrella, 29, were suspended without pay in April 2012 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.
The caravan was from the “Driving Force Club,” whose members included former New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, CBS 2 reported.
“The actions we announce today reflect a resolve to maintain the highest standards of conduct for the State Police, standards to which the overwhelming majority of state troopers adhere,” said Chiesa. “These troopers violated those standards and betrayed the public’s trust, undermining public safety and the reputation of the force. They are justly paying a high price for their poor judgment. Both men have ended their law enforcement careers, and one will have a felony record for the rest of his life.”
“As members of the State Police, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard to maintain the public’s trust,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “When we fail to adhere to those standards, we need to ensure that any violations are taken seriously and disciplined accordingly. The actions of these members should not overshadow all of the great work and service provided by the men and women who proudly wear the uniform of the New Jersey State Police.”
Nassry was a 26 year veteran of the force; Ventrella has been on the force for seven years.
Gov. Chris Christie weighed in on the matter last April, saying the state trooper escort of the caravan was a “dumb thing to do.”
“I just shook my head. You know, what are you gonna do? It’s a completely ridiculous story. It shouldn’t have happened, dumb thing to do, but let me assure you it’s not the last dumb thing that we’ll see happen,” Christie said.
Please share your thoughts below.