Hillside, NJ cop conspired with Latin gang, Attorney General says
A Hillside officer used intel and police equipment to assist individuals associated with the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation gang, according to charges announced Tuesday by Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin.
Fernando Noblecilla, 31, of South Plainfield, has been charged with second-degree conspiracy to commit official misconduct; third-degree hindering of the prosecution of another; third-degree computer theft; third-degree hindering of one's one prosecution; and third-degree unlawful access and disclosure.
Noblecilla, who is suspended from the force, allegedly attempted to warn a member of the gang on April 22, 2021, that a law enforcement operation was being executed at his residence.
On two later dates, Noblecilla accessed a law enforcement database, either directly or through an intermediary, to obtain information for an individual associated with the ALKQN, according to the complaint. Between May and September, Noblecilla deleted electronic communications that could be used against him, according to the complaint.
"There is no room for police officers who break the law and betray their duty, as alleged in this case," Platkin said. "Officers who deviate from the sworn oath they take to protect and serve will be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Timothy Smith, an attorney in Fairfield who's representing Noblecilla, said he looks forward to vindicating his client of "these ridiculous charges" at trial.
“The facts which the government is interpreting as evidence of criminality are actually indicative of exemplary law enforcement techniques – it just doesn’t know the difference," Smith said.