WEST DEPTFORD, N.J. (CBS) — A West Deptford police officer is off the job after he is accused of tampering with evidence and filing false reports.
For the last four years on the force, 30-year-old Officer Thomas McWain has won awards for cleaning up the streets of New Jersey and making arrest after arrest for drug possession.
He had a proclamation given to him by West Deptford Township last year. It called him “a source of pride” for the township.
Officer McWain even did an interview with a TV station in Houston where he talked about the lengths he would go to “help” someone get into rehab.
What Officer McWain didn’t mention is that he may have been setting people up and profiting off those arrests.
“Here’s a guy making all these drug arrests every month and you are sitting there going, ‘My god this guy is phenomenal…he’s a go-getter’ and then you find out it is not what it appears to be,” said Chief Samuel DiSimone, with the West Deptford Police Department.
DiSimone says in April some bodycam footage of McWain came to his attention which shows the officer’s alleged misconduct. It led to a 6-month investigation.
Authorities now believe McWain was somehow convincing people to hang out with him and bring drugs.
Authorities say Officer McWain would show up in a patrol car, make an arrest and then convince that person to go to rehab. Not necessarily because he cared about their well-being, but allegedly because it was a scheme to funnel people in a drug rehab center that Officer McWain allegedly had a financial stake in.
“I worry the people of West Deptford or even Gloucester County, or even of all South Jersey will think that that is how everybody is here and they are not. I would like people to know we are the people who found this out first we did not hide it we did not sweep it under the rug,” said DiSimone.
McWain has been with the West Deptford Police Department since 2013.
He was suspended without pay on Monday and is scheduled to appear in court next month.