For Immediate Release: March 8, 2023
Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Office of Public Integrity and Accountability
– Thomas J. Eicher, Executive Director
BOONTON — Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced charges against a Boonton police captain who allegedly stole his own internal affairs records and computer hardware containing police data from the Boonton Police Department.
Stephen Jones, 42, of Toms River, has been charged by complaint with computer theft, tampering with public records, and other offenses in connection with the April 2022 incident. The charges are a result of an investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability’s (OPIA) Corruption Bureau.
The investigation revealed Jones removed at least five computer towers from the Boonton Police Department, three of which contained police information, including files on internal affairs (IA) matters. Additionally, he allegedly stole his own personnel file and IA file, stashing the computer towers in his Toms River home and the files at his in-laws’ home in Edison.
Then the officer-in-charge of the Boonton Police, Jones was allegedly captured on surveillance video late at night on April 13, 2022 removing containers and computer towers from the police department. According to the investigation, Jones removed the computer hardware and files without authorization and in violation of Boonton Police policies.
Jones is charged with one count of each of the following offenses:
- second-degree computer theft
- third-degree theft by unlawful taking
- third-degree tampering with public records
- fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records
Second-degree crimes carry a five- to 10-year prison term with a $150,000 fine upon conviction. Third-degree crimes can carry a prison sentence of three to five years and a $15,000 fine. Fourth-degree offenses could lead to up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Deputy Attorney General Eric Cohen is prosecuting the case for the OPIA Corruption Bureau under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Jeffrey Manis, Bureau Chief Peter Lee, OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione and OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher.
These charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Defense counsel: John Bruno, Esq., Rutherford