An investigation into allegations that as many as a half-dozen rogue cops in Newark have been shaking down drug dealers and prostitutes, reselling confiscated drugs and selling guns has been under way since the spring, authorities said yesterday. The investigation was launched by the Newark Police Department and state Division of Criminal Justice, and evidence is about ready to be presented to a statewide grand jury, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
Meanwhile, the president of the main police union in Newark said investigators assigned to the case have used improper tactics in compiling evidence and conducting interviews. Neither union nor state officials would discuss the exact nature of the allegations under scrutiny. But officials familiar with the probe said that, in addition to the shakedown allegations, investigators are looking into whether any Newark police officers conducted illegal searches, planted drugs on suspects or failed to turn in all of the funds seized during drug raids. No superior officer has been implicated, the sources said.