Senior Correctional Police Officer Indicted on Charges He Conspired to Smuggle Opioid Painkillers to Inmate in South Woods State Prison

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a suspended senior correctional police officer was indicted today on charges that he conspired to smuggle the opioid painkillers oxycodone and Suboxone into South Woods State Prison in exchange for money.

The Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau obtained a state grand jury indictment today charging David Cade, 53, of Clayton, N.J., with conspiracy, official misconduct, bribery in official matters, and acceptance or receipt of unlawful benefit by a public servant for official behavior, all second-degree charges, as well as third-degree distribution of the opioid Suboxone. Cade was suspended from his position as a senior correctional police officer after his arrest in April 2018.

The indictment stems from an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau and the Division of Criminal Justice. They were assisted by the New Jersey Department of Corrections Office of Professional Standards, which initiated the investigation and referred it to the State Police after learning that Cade allegedly was smuggling contraband, including drugs, into the correctional facility.

It is alleged specifically that 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 the South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton. The inmate allegedly agreed to pay Cade $1,000 to smuggle the drugs into the prison to him. As part of the deal, Cade also allegedly was asked to supply Suboxone strips – films containing Suboxone that dissolve in the mouth – to the woman for her use. It is alleged that Cade met the woman on April 18 at an agreed upon location, where she supplied him with $1,000 and approximately 50 pills to be smuggled into the prison, and he supplied her with 21 Suboxone strips. The State Police arrested Cade immediately after the alleged transaction and seized his service firearm.

“This defendant took an oath to uphold our laws and maintain security in South Woods State Prison,” said Attorney General Grewal. “By allegedly conspiring to smuggle highly addictive opioid painkillers into the prison, he betrayed his oath and threatened the safety of correction officers as well as inmates.”

“Rooting out corrupt conduct is one of our top priorities in the Division of Criminal Justice, and it is especially critical when the alleged conduct undermines safety and security in a state prison,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “I commend the Department of Corrections for their vigilance in uncovering Cade’s alleged smuggling activities, and the New Jersey State Police for their skillful investigation, which enabled our attorneys to secure this indictment.”

“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 alleged 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 alleged misconduct severely jeopardizes the safety and security of both our inmate population and officers, and he will face serious consequences for those actions.”

Deputy Attorneys General Jonathan Gilmore and John A. Nicodemo presented the case to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Anthony Picione. 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.

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. The second-degree charges of official misconduct, bribery, and receipt of unlawful benefit by a public servant for official behavior carry a mandatory minimum period of parole ineligibility of five years.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Peter E. Warshaw in Mercer County, who assigned the case to Gloucester County, where Cade will be ordered to appear in court at a later date for arraignment on the charges.

Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has a toll-free Corruption Tipline 1-866-TIPS-4CJ for the public to report corruption, financial crime and other illegal activities confidentially. The public can also log on to the Division webpage at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrongdoing 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.

Defense Attorney: Jeffrey Zucker, Esq., Zucker Steinberg & Wixted, Camden, N.J.

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