A former Aberdeen cop has been sentenced to nearly a year in jail for tampering with evidence, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office announced on Friday.

Philip Santiago, 35, will also have to serve three years of probation, and is blocked from future public service in New Jersey.

According to authorities, Santiago intentionally tampered with a law-enforcement drug test he was ordered to take in January 2021. He pierced it with the pin on the back of his police badge, making it unable to be processed.

And in May 2022, while on duty, Santiago deleted a video from a suspect's cell phone that showed the interaction between the suspect and Aberdeen officers that led to the suspect's arrest, the prosecutor's office said.

Santiago was suspended from duty and criminally charged in September 2021, before ultimately pleading guilty. He was sworn in as a police officer in 2018, after serving as an emergency dispatcher in Aberdeen.

"Using one's badge, a symbol of public trust, to break the law, is an affront to all law enforcement officers who understand the duties and responsibilities that come with wearing the badge," said Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey.

"We have zero tolerance for any actions that are contrary to our core values as trusted public servants of the residents of Aberdeen Township and the state of New Jersey as a whole," added Aberdeen Police Chief Matthew Lloyd.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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