Former Deal Cop Pleads Guilty to Witness Tampering

FREEHOLD – Officials say Joseph Ammaturo, 38, of Long Branch and a 14-year veteran of the Deal Police Department, pleaded guilty Thursday to third degree Witness Tampering before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge David Bauman, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

During his virtual plea proceeding, Ammaturo admitted to tampering with a witness regarding a pending narcotics investigation into Ammaturo in December 2018. Pursuant to his guilty plea, Judge Bauman ordered that Ammaturo forfeit his position as a police office in the Borough of Deal, where he has been suspended without pay.

The Court also ordered that Ammaturo forfeit all future public employment in New Jersey.

“We will continue to hold law enforcement officers accountable for their actions.

Bad cops will be weeded out as their illegal actions or infidelity of the public trust are discovered. Mr. Ammaturo can never hold public office in New Jersey ever again – that, coupled with probation, is an appropriate sentence.

The community expects better of a law enforcement officer, and the law enforcement community holds its own officers to a higher standard. Mr. Ammaturo failed us all,” Prosecutor Gramiccioni said.

Ammaturo is scheduled to return before Judge Bauman for sentencing on Sept. 4, 2020. Along with his forfeiture of employment, Ammaturo faces an additional period of probation.

“Any violations of the law and betrayal of the public’s trust will not be tolerated by the members of the Deal Police Department,” said Deal Police Chief Ronen Neuman. “We will not allow the actions of this officer to tarnish the commitment and integrity of the men and women of this department.

Our officers are highly trained and dedicated professionals that serve with honor, dignity, and respect.

The public should be reassured that as an accredited agency our officers are held accountable in both upholding and enforcing the laws.”