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Attorney General: Troopers in High-Speed Luxury Car Escort Altered Plates

The troopers have been criminally charged in connection with the March 2012 incident.

Two New Jersey state troopers accused of leading a high-speed escort on the Garden State Parkway for a fleet of luxury cars have been criminally charged, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office announced.

The New Jersey State Police (NJSP) received complaints regarding the March 2012 caravan to Atlantic City, and the troopers were subsequently suspended without pay in April.

In a press conference in Trenton on Friday, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said the troopers who conducted the unauthorized escort "turned our highway into a virtual speedway."

"What they did was absolutely wrong," he said.

An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice into the incident found that the troopers, Sgt. First Class Nadir Nassry, 47, and Trooper Joseph Ventrella, 28, allegedly concealed the license plates on their NJSP vehicles to avoid detection by E-ZPass cameras, Chiesa said.

The troopers allegedly used black electrical tape to change the numbers on their license plates, and the attorney general said Nassry also directed the drivers of the sports cars to partially conceal their plates.

The troopers have been charged with fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records. Nassry, a 25-year veteran of the NJSP, faces an additional third-degree charge of tampering with public records or information.

“This is a public safety issue plain and simple. Thankfully, thankfully no one was hurt,” Chiesa said.

The third-degree offense Nassry is facing carries a sentence of three to five years in state prison, up to a $15,000 fine and loss of his pension, if convicted, Chiesa said. Under the state’s anti-corruption law, Nassry would not be eligible for parole for two years. 

The fourth-degree charge both Ventrella and Nassry are facing carries a maximum of 18 months in state prison, up to a $10,000 fine and forfeiture of their jobs. If convicted, the troopers would not be able to be publicly employed in New Jersey.

Complaints about the high-speed caravan in March led to an investigation of a 2010 escort of other luxury vehicles, according to the attorney general's office.

Four troopers face administrative charges, including improper conduct of an escort and unsafe driving, in connection with the 2010 incident, which was .

Administrative charges have also been filed against a trooper who improperly handled a traffic ticket issued to a member of a driving club who was stopped in 2010 for driving a Lamborghini 116-mph on the Garden State Parkway in Paramus. 

Following a hearing process, the administrative charges could result in a term of unpaid suspension. 

“We're not in the business of endangering the public, we're in the business of protecting the public,” Chiesa said.

The drivers of the luxury cars will not be issued speeding tickets or motor vehicle summonses for altering their license plates during the caravan as a 30-day time limit to issue such summonses has passed, he said.

In response to the incident, the NJSP adopted a new standard operating procedure when dealing with escorts, according to State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes. An emphasis will be placed on public safety, and enhanced provisions were adopted governing when escorts will be authorized.

jerseyswamps July 30, 2012 at 09:20 AM
I thought I read everything there was about the Trooper escort. I never saw anything about CC or Republicans being involved or anyway responsible. What did I miss?
Paul J. DiBartolo July 30, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I think you missed my most important point, Matt. I don't use personal insults, especially that reference somebody's physical make-up over which they usually don't have control. I refuse to treat such people with any pretended dignity and it's not my job to kill them with kindness while I attempt to correct them; that was the job of their parents. I have seen posters get on here and rather than say anything meaningful about the actual subject just jump right in with personal insults and attacks. I attack ideas rather than people. And, BTW, my use of 'mental midgets' to cal these folks out was so benign in the scheme of things as to not even place in the same category as most of the vitriol that passes as conversation in these 'dialogs.' Anyway, I think we've flogged this one way past any ability to produce anything meaningful from pursuing it any further.
Steve S July 30, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Despicable. Were they being paid to provide these escorts and who were the drivers? Were these cops working on the side???A lot more to this story I’m sure.
Jim July 30, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Either they were on the clock or they used the police cruisers illegally. I don't believe State Troopers or Police Officers are able to use their cruiser for personal use.
enough is enough July 30, 2012 at 06:18 PM
jersey swamp what you missed was gov crisco is their superior. a superior holds responsibility for those in his charge much as gov cuomo would ultimately be responsible for ny state troopers. this wasnt the first time nj troopers did this. they also did it in 2010 as well. this time they got caught because a driver put the video on you tube. you tube is the worst thing that ever happened to gov crisco.too bad the only public who could tell him how bad of a job he is doing is republican senior citizens on a beach at 2 pm when everyone else is working. the rest of us can maybe get a post card to him maybe at the koch mansion or whatever state mitt romney's in which judging by what he did in london and israel would be somewhere in the state of confusion.
jerseyswamps July 30, 2012 at 07:13 PM
OK. So to be fair you should hold Obama responsible for all federal screw-ups that come to a head under his watch? Fast & Furious comes to mind.
WMS826 July 30, 2012 at 07:41 PM
This Sgt was stupid, no two ways about it but lets be real about this. Let them resign and move on.
clyde July 30, 2012 at 10:17 PM
John, why do that?? In the video you can see their plates, I say track them down & issue tickets based on the video evidence just like they do with the red light cameras, & ez pass violations. Plate 1 NJ - VPL 40G red Ford GT-40 Plate 2 NY - FAE 2696 white Porsche GT3RS Plate 3 NJ - ZUX 59A silver Ferrari California
clyde July 30, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Another Plate 4 NJ - ZAJ 92U silver Ferrari
Paul J. DiBartolo July 30, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Hey, 'enough,' did it ever occur to you to pause a moment and come up for air? The oxygen to your brain would be extremely helpful because you stopped making sense to anybody but yourself days ago.
Berkeley Lifer July 31, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Is it time for your medication yet?While your in between doses read this link before you nod off........http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18158503/ns/politics/t/corzines-suv-traveling-mph-time-crash/#.UBc_SmF8CSo
proud July 31, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Paul, you're being duped .
antonio movado July 31, 2012 at 04:47 AM
jerseyswamps i guess you and proud will do just about anything to not mention the subject of this article which is governor christie's slacker leadership.
proud July 31, 2012 at 08:39 AM
Didn't you mean to say that it's bush's fault, tonio?
jerseyswamps July 31, 2012 at 10:28 AM
I just read the article again. I suggest you do the same and then please show me anything that hints this is about CC's leadership. The article is about a couple of Troopers screwing up and risking lives. Another reader here blames CC. OK, then let's hold our leaders responsible for all screw-ups that happen on their watch.
SHARON HEBERT July 31, 2012 at 11:01 AM
After the emails and telling me to read again. so i spent all the time i have on this. 1. loss of job. 2. using boro property jail time with community service. 3. stealing jail time. 4. they intended to do unlawful things it was planned out. so u have intent to harm others. jail time. this is loss of pension and jail time ! To those that emailed me look it up and let me have my opion k good!
Fred M July 31, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Last I heard CC wasn't part of the escort...The same American Attitude...ITS ALWAYS SOMEONE ELSES FAULT...
proud July 31, 2012 at 02:33 PM
The content of the article has nothing to do with the remarkably similar antonio/enoughisenough grasping the opportunity to distort the facts and inject an insult ridden left wing agenda.
Joe P July 31, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Nobody said it was OK because nobody got hurt. Same theory that applies to giving drug addicts clean needles to prevent spreading diseases (which the libs love) should apply here. BTW Fred, YOUR implies possession. Example: Your ignorance is showing. YOU'RE is a contraction of two words, "you" and "are". Example: You're actually learning something today!
grace July 31, 2012 at 10:53 PM
some people shouldnt be state police...they were hired and they should now be fired...
Fred M July 31, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Joe. You introduced another Point...Nobody Got Hurt...What possible reason does that Point serve? How does that POINT deserve any type of discussion? You want what type of response because Nobody Got Hurt? I don't understand your point..
somebody August 01, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Just another person who is covering up for someone that they shouldn't. More excuses, most likely a State or town employee who is using and abusing public trust.
Bear August 01, 2012 at 11:33 PM
I personally have participated in LEGALLY conducted road rallys sponsored by BMW from Maine to Massachusetts. Never have those who particpate ignored tolls or sped much beyond the legally posted speed limit. We still had fun and did not endanger the safety of ourselves or other motor vehicles. Consquently, I am hardpressed to excuse these State Troopers or those arrogant fools that they allegedly escorted.
Luke Murry August 07, 2012 at 03:16 PM
That's a video from 2010 that surfaced after the 2012 events
Luke Murry August 07, 2012 at 03:17 PM
In the video, you can clearly see a few other state troopers, including one who has a commoner pulled over. Probably issuing a speeding ticket. Hehehe....
nancy snyder December 05, 2012 at 11:13 AM
FINALLY! About time we get somethin from NJs Finest. Helping us w/bending the law, rather than bending us over n finding every which way to screw us. I wouldnt be surprised if the 'black tape trick' is upgraded to a felony charge as soon as a 'Joe Citizen' gets caught doin it. Imagine that.
nancy snyder December 05, 2012 at 12:01 PM
DAMN Paul....you're good. There's nothing I enjoy more than an educated smartass such as yourself. And Im not being a wise ass Im serious. Its ashame for those who cant keep up ... Whooosh...is likely all they got from that last comment of yours. I luv it.
Thomas April 11, 2013 at 06:29 AM
I can only but guess that the police officers were paid a sufficient amount of money to escort a fleet of luxury cars? Surely they must have known they would be spotted though, and thus caught. They were not hiding or driving discretely, they were speeding in plain sight. Luckily, no one and no car parts was injured. I think perhaps there would not have been any complains if the drivers were not speeding. The police officers definitely knew what they were doing was a criminal offence since they tried to cover it up. - http://www.carid.com
proud April 11, 2013 at 11:19 AM
@tom, this article is like nine months old.
Thomas April 19, 2013 at 11:07 AM
It seems that there are a number of cases of state troopers abusing their authority and position. Even prior to this, I have read of news of state troopers who have been issued suspension for falsification and tampering because they were escorting a high-speed caravan, etc. I became more aware of this I when I was searching for car parts news and car news over the internet. Why it caught my attention because I once witnessed of a state trooper vehicle escorting a high speed caravan in 2010. I was not able to take a photo or proof of it, but another person did. The last I have heard was that the authorities have been very strict with the usage of state trooper vehicles, especially during the night. - http://www.carid.com

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