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Headquarters (609)882-2000 X6952
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November 11, 2006

N.J. State Police Arrest Camden Cop

Officer allegedly gave gun to co-conspirator for robbery of drug dealers

Camden, N.J. - Detectives with the State Police Organized Crime Bureau yesterday arrested Corporal Michael A. Hearne, an 18-year veteran of the Camden Police Department's Fourth District. Hearne, 42, of Woodbury was charged with official misconduct, conspiracy to commit robbery, money laundering, and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes. He was arrested while in uniform during what he planned to be an early evening rendezvous with a co-conspirator at the Super 8 Motel in Bellmawr. The State Police T.E.A.M.S. Unit (tactical group) completed the high-risk take down in the parking lot of without incident. Hearne was lodged in Mercer County Jail on $2 million bail.

The arrest followed a month-long investigation using a co-conspirator to gather evidence of the crimes involving Hearne. It was learned that Hearne had assisted this accomplice in committing armed robberies of specific drug dealers by supplying this man with an illegal handgun to use in the acts. Following the robberies, the man would reportedly return the gun to Hearne along with the cash proceeds and Hearne would launder the money, returning a portion of the take back to the robber in larger denominations. One alleged robbery netted approximately $30,000 from a drug dealer target, according to the accomplice. State Police detectives are investigating allegations of at least three such acts.

Lt Mike Cartagena, head of the State Police Organized Crime Bureau's South Unit oversaw the complex investigation. "After seeing the results of a life of crime, it's very sad when any sworn officer crosses the line," Cartagena said.

The robber-turned-informant is now under the care of the State Police witness protection program.

Photo of Hearne is available to email. It has also been sent to the AP. Because of the undercover nature of the work done by the State Police Organized Crime Bureau, no one will be available for interviews.

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