A State Police sergeant pleaded guilty Monday to altering the numbers on the license plates of his car while leading an unauthorized escort of a high-speed sports-car caravan to Atlantic City in 2012.
As part of their deals with the state, Sgt. 1st Class Nadir Nassry and another trooper involved in the March 20 caravan both agreed that they would never work again in law enforcement in the state.
Nassry, 47, of Phillipsburg, Warren County, pleaded guilty in court in New Brunswick to using black electrical tape on his license plates in order to conceal his participation in leading the 25 to 30 luxury sports cars on a drive from New York down the Garden State Parkway that reached speeds of 100 mph.
The 26-year veteran enlisted Trooper Joseph Ventrella, 29, of Bloomingdale, Passaic County, to help.
Nassry could have been sentenced to as many as 18 months in prison, but prosecutors agreed to recommend probation. He must forfeit his job and be permanently barred from any other law enforcement public employment position in the state, Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said.
In a statement through his lawyer, Nassry apologized to drivers who were endangered, the State Police and Ventrella, calling the incident a "one-time act of stupidity."
Witnesses said the caravan weaved through traffic and forced some drivers off the road.
Ventrella, a seven-year veteran, agreed to waive indictment and be charged by accusation, but he did not plead guilty.
If the court allows it, Ventrella will be permitted to apply for the Middlesex County Pre-Trial Intervention Program, and if he successfully completes it, the charges will be dismissed.
Both troopers were suspended soon after the caravan and surrendered to authorities last year. Nassry submitted retirement papers and took responsibility for the escort. He also asked for leniency for Ventrella, whom he said was only following orders.
Nassry's lawyer, Vincent Nuzzi, said his client agreed to participate in the caravan because of his friendship with Brandon Jacobs, a former New York Giants running back, who was part of the line of fast-moving sports cars.
“These troopers violated standards and betrayed the public’s trust, undermining public safety and the reputation of the force (in the process),” Chiesa said. “Both men have ended their law enforcement careers, and one will have a felony record for the rest of his life.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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