A veteran New Jersey police officer has pleaded guilty to witness tampering in connection with a drug investigation.

The Monmouth County prosecutor’s office said Friday that 38-year-old Joseph Ammaturo also has forfeited his position as a police officer in Deal and is barred from future public employment.

The 14-year police veteran faces sentencing in September. He is expected to receive probation, which the prosecutor called an "appropriate sentence" given that he will no longer be able to hold a public job in the state.

Ammaturo was arrested in December 2018 and charged with tampering, conspiracy and drug possession involving marijuana and cocaine. He also was charged last July with offenses including possession of clenbuterol, a drug used to treat asthma in horses that also is used by bodybuilders, with intent to distribute.

Those charges will be dropped as part of Ammaturo's plea, a prosecutor's office spokesman said Friday.

A message was left Friday with an attorney representing Ammaturo.

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