NJ cop illegally referred people to his drug rehab program, prosecutor says
WEST DEPTFORD — A township police officer is facing corruption charges after being accused of referring someone to a drug rehab program with which he has a financial interest.
Prosecutors also say that Officer Thomas McWain tampered with evidence and records, including deleting text messages in which he instructs someone to incriminate themselves by bringing drugs to a traffic stop.
McWain, 30, surrendered Tuesday on the charges. But prosecutors said Wednesday that he had been suspended from the force with pay since April, earning a base salary of $80,000. His suspension became unpaid Monday, officials say.
Prosecutors released few details about the charges or the investigation.
Prosecutors say McWain filed a police report containing a "false narrative" about an arrest and seizure this year.
They say he referred "a subject with whom he had contact as a West Deptford Township police officer" to a drug rehab program he had a financial interest in. He also was charged with accessing computer records to benefit someone.
The charges include official misconduct.
McWain was profiled last year by NJ.com for his work with a former addict and the Miami-based The Addictions Academy.
The article said McWain had administered more opiate antidotes than any other officer in his department and had become certified by the Miami program in intervention and recovery coaching. The article said other officers in the department would also be trained by the program.
Police Chief Sam DiSimone said Wednesday that the rehab program mentioned in the criminal charges had no connection to the department or the prosecutor's office.
McWain is identified by the website of Shields Against Addiction as a major figure with the nonprofit, which describes itself as "a medley of first responders and addiction treatment professionals" dedicated to providing education and resources to communities to combat the opioid epidemic.
The website says it has provided opioid training to more than 500 first responders in Alaska, California and Atlantic City.The firm did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday
A man who answered McWain's phone hung up after a reporter identified himself. New Jersey 101.5 did not know Wednesday who McWain's attorney is.
Prosecutors did not identify the rehab program or any of the other individuals.
DiSimone said the investigation began as an internal affairs review of cases, which then was referred to the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office. He declined to comment further on the case.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email email@example.com.