ORADELL, NJ - According to Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella, Jeffrey Peters, a 41-year-old Hawthorne resident and police officer with the Oradell Police Department, was arrested on Monday, January 25, and charged with theft and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. The Prosecutor's Office said that they had received information six days prior, indicating that Officer Peters "may have unlawfully entered a locked drop box designated for residents to drop off unused prescription medication."
The drop box is part of the Drug Enforcement Agency's "Operation Take Back" program, where members of the public are encouraged to put unused prescription narcotics into the box as a way to dispose of them. The box itself was set up in the police department lobby.
An investigation by members of the Prosecutor's Office and Chief of Detectives Robert Anzilotti, found that Peters "was not authorized by the Oradell Police Department to access the drop box." The Prosecutor's Office said Peters had opened the box "on several occasions" to take the narcotics within.
As a result of the investigation, Peters was suspended from his duties. He is to have his first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack on the morning of February 10.
Prosecutor Musella said that "the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" and thanked the members of the Oradell Police Department for their cooperation.
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