Contact Us
Make My Homepage

NJ Officer Indicted in Alleged Immigrant Shakedown

Elizabeth Police
Flickr User Democrats for Change

A New Jersey police officer has been indicted in an alleged scheme to make unwarranted motor vehicle stops of Hispanic men, question them about their residency status and threaten to report them to immigration officials unless they gave him money.

Rocco Malgieri of Brick Township faces theft, attempted extortion, bribery and official misconduct charges. A 58-count indictment returned Friday alleges the veteran Elizabeth police officer began targeting Hispanic men in February

for unwarranted vehicle stops while he was on duty. Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said Monday at least 12 people had reported that Malgieri solicited payments from them ranging from $30 to $250.

The 43-year-old officer has been suspended from the Elizabeth police department without pay.  A lawyer who previously represented Malgieri on the initial charges, Donald DiGioia, did not return a call for comment Monday.

Malgieri surrendered in March and remains free on a $20,000 bond.

Prosecutors allege Malgieri would pull over Hispanic male drivers, ask if they were in this country legally, and threaten to report them to immigration authorities if they were not, unless they paid him a bribe.

Local police are not supposed to ask about a driver’s immigration status during a vehicle stop.  Only a few jurisdictions in New Jersey have been given special authorization to allow local officials to enforce federal immigration laws, including checking a person’s status. The Elizabeth police force is not one of them.

 (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Best of NJ 101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.