MORRISTOWN, NJ – Four Morris County correction officers and a Morris County Sheriff’s officer pleaded guilty to drug charges in a multi-month investigation following a tip from the Morris County Sheriff’s CrimeStoppers Program.
The officers’ charges, and Oct. 7 guilty pleas, arose from a multi-month investigation that was conducted by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit (Narcotics Task Force) after receiving a CrimeStoppers tip forwarded by Sheriff James Gannon about illegal drug activity involving use by a Morris County Sheriff’s officer, according to the prosecutor’s office. The investigation identified four Morris County correction officers employed in the Bureau of Corrections who were engaged in an ongoing conspiracy to purchase cocaine for their own personal use. Two of these correction officers were also engaged in an ongoing conspiracy to distribute cocaine to their fellow officers. The investigation also identified a Morris County Sheriff’s officer within the Bureau of Law Enforcement who was engaged in the ongoing conspiracy to purchase oxycodone prescription pills for his personal use. Two of the officers were also charged with obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function for utilizing a county law enforcement database for an unauthorized purpose in connection to their drug conspiracy.
According to the prosecutor’s office:
- Dominick Andico, age 33, pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree conspiracy to possess cocaine, one count of third-degree conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and one count of disorderly person obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function.
- Albert Wyman IV, age 36, pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree conspiracy to possess cocaine and one count of disorderly person obstructing administration of law.
- Robert Busold, age 27, pleaded guilty to one count each of third-degree conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine.
- Brian T. Rzucidlo, age 35, pleaded guilty to one count third-degree conspiracy to possess cocaine.
- Nicholas Ricciotti, age 31, pleaded guilty to one count third-degree conspiracy to possess oxycodone.
As part of the plea agreements all defendants agreed to immediately resign from their positions as law enforcement officers, forfeiting their current public employment, and will be disqualified from holding any future position in public employment. In addition, the plea agreements call for a term of probation with mandatory drug treatment, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp said he was glad the situation was dealt with quickly and that the officers’ actions were not an indication of a systemic problem.
“All law enforcement officers must be held to a high standard of conduct,” he said. “The illicit drug use of these individuals must be dealt with swiftly and effectively. There has been no evidence of distribution other than for their personal use amongst each other. Nevertheless, they are all being terminated immediately and shall forfeit any and all possibility of future public employment. We thank Sheriff Gannon for his unswerving cooperation throughout this investigation.”
Gannon said he was happy with how efficiently the CrimeStoppers program works, but hopeful that people will not assume all law enforcement are like these five men.
“After discovering this information through our Morris County Sheriff’s CrimeStoppers program, I immediately forwarded it to the county prosecutor for investigation,” he said. “One of the silver linings to this sad episode, frankly, is how effectively the CrimeStoppers reporting system works. It proves that nobody – even corrections and Sheriff's officers – are above the law. I trust that the people of Morris County won't allow the criminal actions of a few bad apples to cast a shadow over the other 322 honest, moral, and hardworking staff at the Sheriff's Office. I am proud of my team and we are stronger today for rooting out and removing those who would bring dishonor to our organization and our county.”g.
Celebrating something special? Showcase your anniversary, birthday, graduation, and MORE on TAPinto Milestones!