A former Asbury Park police officer was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in state prison for his role in a criminal organization that prosecutors say terrorized the city.
A jury in September found Keith German, 49, guilty of three counts of official misconduct, including hindering the apprehension of gang members, conspiracy to commit stalking, harassment, computer theft and unlawful access and disclosure.
German, a 16-year veteran of the Asbury Park Police Department, was among dozens arrested in 2014 as part of "Operation Dead End," a large sweep targeting criminal and gang activity in Asbury Park.
The probe was called Operation Dead End, prosecutors explained, because the criminal activities in question were based out of two dead-end streets in Asbury Park, Dewitt Avenue and a section of Jersey Street in the Washington Village Public Housing Complex.
Of the 53 people arrested, 18 of them were members of the Crips or Bloods street gangs, prosecutors said after the arrests.
Authorities say German, of Tinton Falls, gave one of the gang leaders, James Fair, inside information about whether police officers were watching the organization in return for Fair helping him stalk a woman who didn't return his affections.
Two weeks into the testimony portion of his trial, German, who had been out on bail, stopped showing up to court. Judge Joseph Oxley, who presided over that trial, issued a warrant for his arrest.
He was arrested June 28 as he was walking to his car at a strip mall outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, authorities said at the time.
German will have to serve the entirety of his 10-year sentence without parole. He also is barred from holding a public position in the state.
"This sentence sends a strong message that there will be zero tolerance for cops who commit crimes," Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a statement. "It only takes one bad cop to adversely affect the reputation of so many that do the job with honor and integrity. For these reasons, the public should be reassured that we will continue to prosecute crooked cops to the fullest extent of the law."
Fair, who went by the name Dough Boy, led an organized group that sold drugs, robbed people of drugs and money, bought guns and tried to kill their rivals all over "greed and control," Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Joseph Cummings said during his opening remarks.
Haneef Walker, who went by the street name "Nutty," was described by Cummings as Fair's go-to guy for robberies, a man who would jump quickly in response to his boss' requests.