Ocean County prosecutor's office

A former K-9 training officer in the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department pleaded guilty to mishandling cocaine meant for training dogs, the county prosecutor announced Friday morning.

John C. Adams pleaded guilty Thursday before Judge Wendel E. Daniels to official misconduct and theft, Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato said.

Adams was serving as the commander of the Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 unit at the time. He had been a sworn sheriff’s officer for 16 years.

The investigation, which began in January, revealed Adams failed to properly secure cocaine used in training police dogs, Coronato said. He initially reported falsely the cocaine was discarded with canine training items.

The investigation revealed Adams blamed other K-9 officers for the drug’s disappearance after he diverted more than one kilogram, or about 2.2 pounds, of the controlled dangerous substance from its intended training purposes, Coronato said, adding it is believed Adams used the drug for personal consumption.

As a result of the guilty pleas, Adams must forfeit his public employment and is ineligible for future government employment in the state, Coronato said.

Adams must serve three years in prison with a mandatory period of parole ineligibility of two years. He remains free on bail pending his scheduled sentencing April 6, Coronato said.

The Ocean County Sheriff’s Department assisted and cooperated with the investigation.

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Contact: 609-272-7090 wdiez@pressofac.com Twitter @_waldy

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