Just this week, a New Jersey police officer has pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and driving while drunk on duty in April. The officer, Matthew D. Ellery, 29, of Franklin Township, pleaded guilty before a Somerset County Superior Court Judge Kevin M. Shanahan. Ellery was on trial for possession of a controlled dangerous substance, heroin, a third-degree crime, and a summons related to driving while intoxicated, according to prosecutors.
The officer took a plea agreement which requires him to apply for admission into a five year Somerset County Drug Court Program, along with alternative sentence between three to five years in a New Jersey State Prison only if he fails to complete the drug court program. The drug court order program is a seven-month suspension of his driver license, tied in with a mountain of fines and penalties, not to mention the loss of his job as a Franklin Township police officer.
According to his attorney, his sentencing is scheduled for August 23. The state records indicate that Ellery earned $45,542 as a police officer and tried to enroll in the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System in September 2016. The report also shows that he was hired by the police department back on August 22, 2016.
Ellery’s case began while he was on duty at 1:08 a.m.April 7, in which Franklin Township Police Department tried to radio him however he failed to respond. Due to no communication, another Franklin Township Police officer was dispatched to Ellery’s location and discovered his car parked in the driveway of Bennetts lane business. When the other officer approached the patrol car, he found Ellery passed out in the driver’s seat, according to the release.
The officer on duty who responded to the call was also a licensed EMT, and identified that Ellery was experiencing an “opiate overdose because he was cyanotic, had no carotid pulse, and was not breathing.” Ellery was removed from the car and given two doses of Naloxone to revive which revived him.
Immediately after receiving the two doses of Naloxone, Ellery regained consciousness and was then transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick by EMS personnel. No further information has been released.