Ocean Township Police officer arrested on drug charge

Ocean Township – The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed that a township police officer was arrested on February 19, and faces several drug offenses.

Ryan L. Vaccaro, who is currently listed as the president of the Ocean Township Police Benevolent Association Local 57, which represents approximately 70 members of the Ocean Township and Allenhurst Police Departments, and last reported salary was $117,000 is facing an April 5, 2019 first court appearance.

The complaint-summons alleges that, Vaccaro, “between May 1-11, 2018 in or about the Township of Ocean, did knowingly possess a prescription legend drugs (Clenbuterol) in the amount of five or more dosage units, where such substance was not lawfully prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, veterinarian, dentist, or other practitioner authorized by law to prescribe medication, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5 (E)(2), a fourth-degree crime.”

The complaint also stated that on those dates in the township, Vaccaro did knowingly possess or have under his control with intent to distribute Clenbuterol, in an amount of 100 or more dosage units.

Celenbuterol is a steroid-like drug that was developed to treat asthma in horses. It is both a decongestant and a bronchodilator.

According to medical professionals, the drug is now controversial because of its use in bodybuilding and weight-loss programs.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office did not elaborate on why it took nearly a year after the alleged offense to arrest Vaccaro or details about the arrest. The Link News reached out to the Ocean Township Police Department for comment.

“In regards to the Vaccaro arrest, it is a sad day for the Ocean Township Police Department. We are shocked, embarrassed and angered by the arrest of Officer Vaccaro,” said Ocean Township Police Chief Steven Peters. He said the Ocean Township Police Department is a highly professional and community minded organization, where officers are required to hold a college degree. “We will not let the actions of one officer over shadow the great work and dedication by the men and women of this department. I am truly sorry to our residents that one of our own has brought such shame to the department, the Township and our law enforcement profession.”

According to Ocean Township Police Captain Michael Sorrentino, Officer Vaccaro started his employment with the department in 2005 and following the arrest was immediately suspended without pay.