Photo: New Jersey Officer Rocco Malgieri was shaking down undocumented
Rocco Malgieri has been accused of shaking down undocumented immigrants, telling them that unless they gave him money, he would turn them into immigration authorities.
The Elizabeth Police officer of New Jersey, has been charged with nearly 60 counts, ranging from theft by extortion to official misconduct.
Prosecutors say Malgieri, 43, would pull over Hispanic drivers without just cause, as about their residency status, and then threaten them. He told them that unless they gave him money, he’d report them to federal immigration officials. He allegedly received payments between $30 and $250, according to Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.
Prosecutor Romankow stated that Malgieri began the shake down of the Hispanic men in February 2011.
Malgieri reportedly turned himself in back in March after 19 years as a police officer. The 58 charges against him were announced Monday.
For now, he has been suspended without pay, but prosecutors say the 12 victims that have been confirmed are likely not the only ones, just as Malgieri is likely not the only officer to engage in such immoral behavior.
Malgieri is currently out on a $20,000 property bond.