The coverup began from the get-go after a New Jersey cop was found slumped in the seat of his patrol car while in uniform and wearing a gun.
Franklin Township police officer Matthew D. Ellery had overdosed on heroin the night of April 7 and was quietly issued a summons for DWI a week later, even though he was also found with heroin which carries a five-year sentence.
Two months later, news of his DWI summons was made public but still nothing about the heroin. And three weeks after that, it was revealed that the Somerset County prosecutors had taken over the Franklin Township Police Department, which employs about 100 sworn officers but still nothing about the heroin.
The take-over led to the abrupt resignation of the department's two top cops, Chief Richard Grammar and Captain Gregory Borlan. All Somerset County prosecutors would say at the time was that they were conducting a "comprehensive evaluation" of the police department.
Last week, prosecutors also charged Ellery with possession of heroin, a third-degree felony that could have landed him in prison but he agreed to a plea deal where he will enter into a drug rehabilitation program for five years instead. If he fails to follow through with the program, then he could be sent to prison for 3 to 5 years.
He also lost his job and his driver's license was suspended for seven months.
Fortunately for Ellery, the responding officers were able to revive him by administering two doses of Naloxone.