Rogue NJ cop who stole money, drugs pleads guilty in sweeping corruption probe

Ex-Paterson, N.J. Police Officer Daniel Pent, admitted that he conspired to take money and drugs from drivers during illegal traffic stops.

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An ex-Paterson, N.J., police officer pled guilty to corruption charges, bringing the total to seven cops implicated in a sweeping federal corruption probe.

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Former Police Officer Daniel Pent, admitted that he conspired to take money and drugs from drivers during illegal traffic stops. He was among five other officers who participated in roadside shakedowns, taking money from drivers and even beating up a man who was chained to a hospital bed, reports.

Every officer who was under investigation by the FBI has been convicted, the outlet reports. Pent is facing three years in prison.

Pent started his tenure as a cop in with the Paterson Police Department in 2014.

He also confessed to filing false police reports an attempt to cover up the fact that he stole cash and beat a victim who played loud music in his parked vehicle.

He also admitted to carrying out a “running tax,” where he and other cops repeatedly beat suspects who tried to escape.

Pent admitted that he lied on a police report in one instance arrested a man he said was loitering in a drug area and had just $36 on him when he fact he and another officer, Eudy Ramos, took $10,000.

Mayor Andre Sayegh condemned the cops, calling them a “disgrace.”

“I was proud to swear in seven new officers yesterday to replace the seven who disgraced the uniform,” Sayegh said. “Our Police Department is better today because these bad actors have been brought to justice.”

“I’d like to thank the FBI for all the help they’ve given us,” said the current police chief, Troy Oswald. “I hope this closes the book on rogue police officers in Paterson.”

“It’s been very tough for us,” said Mason Maher, president of the union. “The actions of a few bad apples have tarnished our department, the overwhelming majority of Paterson police officers who do their job the right way every day. We look forward to the end of this situation so we can repair our relationship with the community.”

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Zellie Thomas, a local Black Lives Matter activist said the department has work to do to fix its tarnished image.

“There’s a dark cloud over the Paterson Police Department,” Thomas said, “and that dark cloud won’t be removed until we get full audit of the Police Department and a citizens’ complaint review board.”

Pent will be sentenced Jan. 14.