Charges were dropped Tuesday against nearly 40 defendants in South Jersey after officials discovered a police detective misled a judge in an application to secure a search warrant.
Cumberland County prosecutors moved to drop the charges -- which in most cases involved drug offenses -- because Vineland Detective Gamaliel “Gami” Cruz's testimony would have been needed to carry on with the prosecutions, they said.
County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae announced the 39 case dismissals, saying it was necessary “in the interest of justice.” It came after officials learned Cruz lied about an informant to a state Superior Court judge because he was concerned for the informant's safety.
Cruz was suspended without pay and Vineland police officials planned to “fire him over the incident,” Police Chief Timothy Codispoti said.
Cruz could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.