OCEAN TOWNSHIP (Monmouth) — The head of the township's police union was arrested after being found with an illegal performance enhancing drug last year, officials said.

Ryan Vaccaro had more than 100 dosage units of Clenbuterol, an animal drug used by bodybuilders, according to a complaint from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. The president of PBA Local 57 was in possession of the drug between May 1 and May 11, 2018, and was arrested on Feb. 19.

A spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office on Thursday did not immediately respond to a request for comment asking asking why there was a 10-month delay in his arrest.

Clenbuterol, also known as "clen," is known for its ability to increase lean muscle mass and reduce body fat but it can have adverse cardiovascular and neurological effects, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Female athletes use the drug because it does not have side effects such as a deepening voice and growing facial hair. Its only approved use in the United States is for horses.

"It is a sad day for the Ocean Township Police Department," Chief Steven Peters said in an email. "We are shocked, embarrassed and angered by the arrest of Officer Vaccaro. The Ocean Township Police Department is a highly professional and community minded organization and we will not let the actions of one officer over shadow the great work and dedication by the men and women of this department. I am truly sorry to our residents that one of our own has brought such shame to the department, the Township and our law enforcement profession."

Peters said Vaccaro was immediately suspended without pay. State PBA President Patrick Colligan said Vaccaro's status as president of the local remains unclear.

According to public records, Vaccaro has been a police officer since June 2005 and earns a base salary of $117,000 per year.

Vaccaro's LinkedIn account said he was a professional mixed martial arts fighter. The MMA website Sherdog has a page highlighting a Point Pleasant-based wrestler named Ryan Vaccaro who had a 6-4 record. His last match was in June 2012.

Vaccaro is scheduled to be in court on April 5.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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