TRENTON –Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a former senior correctional police officer was sentenced to state prison today for conspiring to smuggle the opioid painkillers oxycodone and Suboxone into South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton in exchange for money.
David Cade, 54, of Clayton, N.J., was sentenced to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Robert P. Becker Jr. in Gloucester County. Cade pleaded guilty on March 15, 2019 to conspiracy to commit bribery in official and political matters. He forfeited his position as a senior correctional police officer as a result of his guilty plea and is permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey.
Deputy Attorneys General Jonathan Gilmore and John A. Nicodemo prosecuted Cade and handled the sentencing for the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability.
Cade was indicted in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau and the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability. They were assisted by the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) Office of Professional Standards, which initiated the investigation and alerted the State Police after learning Cade was smuggling contraband, including drugs, into the prison. DOC investigators worked with the State Police to set up the sting operation in which Cade was arrested.
In March and April 2018, Cade conspired with an inmate and a woman outside the prison in a scheme to smuggle oxycodone and Suboxone to the inmate in South Woods State Prison. The inmate agreed to pay Cade $1,000 to smuggle the drugs into the prison to him. As part of the deal, Cade also was asked to supply Suboxone strips – films containing Suboxone that dissolve in the mouth – to the woman for her use. Cade met the woman on April 18, 2018 at an agreed upon location, where she supplied him with $1,000 and 50 pills to be smuggled into the prison, and he supplied her with 21 Suboxone strips. The State Police arrested Cade immediately after the transaction and seized his service firearm.
“Cade took an oath to uphold our laws and maintain security in South Woods State Prison,” said Attorney General Grewal. “By conspiring to smuggle highly addictive opioid painkillers into the prison, he betrayed his oath in a way that threatened the safety of officers as well as inmates. This prison sentence sends a strong message that we will aggressively prosecute this type of official corruption.”
“The Office of Public Integrity and Accountability works closely with other departments of government and public agencies to root out corrupt conduct in their ranks, conduct that in this case undermined safety and security in a state prison,” said Director Thomas Eicher of the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability. “I commend the Department of Corrections and the New Jersey State Police for their excellent work in detecting and investigating this corrupt correctional police officer.”
“Correctional police officers put their lives on the line daily, relying on each other to ensure the safety of both fellow officers and inmates,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “Cade’s conduct not only jeopardized lives, it betrayed New Jersey’s law enforcement community and citizens alike, who rightfully demand that those entrusted to uphold the law are held to a higher standard.”
“The New Jersey Department of Corrections has a zero-tolerance policy for those who use their positions of authority to engage in corrupt, illegal activity,” said New Jersey Department of Corrections Acting Commissioner Marcus O. Hicks, Esq. “Cade’s misconduct severely jeopardized the safety and security of both our inmate population and officers, and justice demanded that he face serious consequences for those actions.”
Deputy Attorneys General Gilmore and Nicodemo prosecuted the case for the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability, under the supervision of Deputy Attorney General Anthony Picione, Acting Counsel to the OPIA Director. Attorney General Grewal commended those attorneys, as well as the detectives in the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau South Unit and the senior investigators for the Department of Corrections Office of Professional Standards who conducted the investigation. Senior Investigators Patrick Sesulka and Timathy Gonzalez handled the case for the Department of Corrections.
Attorney General Grewal and Director Eicher noted that the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability has a toll-free Tipline 1-844-OPIA-TIPS for the public to report corruption, financial crimes and other illegal activities confidentially.
The Attorney General’s Office has an Anti-Corruption Reward Program that offers a reward of up to $25,000 for tips from the public leading to a conviction for a crime involving public corruption. Information is posted on the Attorney General’s website at: www.nj.gov/oag/corruption/reward.html.
Jeffrey Zucker, Esq., Zucker Steinberg & Wixted, Camden, N.J.