Former State Police Sergeant Heading To Prison, Misused ID Card

  OCEAN COUNTY – A former member of the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) from Ocean County has been sentenced to five years in prison for misusing an NJSP identification card to get out of police traffic stops, officials said.

  Marc Dennis, 51, of Waretown, was sentenced on charges of official misconduct and a pattern of official misconduct.

  In September 2016, Dennis was suspended by the State Police and ordered to surrender his NJSP identifications as well as relieved of his law enforcement powers.

  Authorities later discovered that Dennis kept a State Police identification he had been issued and was presenting it to officers who pulled him over, all while he was suspended from duty. According to officials, he was pulled over at least nine separate times.

  “This defendant used a State Police ID he improperly retained after a suspension to benefit himself by violating the public’s trust,” Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said. “I am deeply grateful for the commitment, sacrifice and upstanding character that the vast majority of our state’s law enforcement officers exhibit on and off the job. We will not tolerate abusive behavior by one bad actor reflecting poorly on the numerous officers abiding by the law, upholding it and making New Jersey safer.”

  “This ousted sergeant improperly and deceitfully posed as an active-duty member of the State Police to law enforcement during traffic stops to get favorable treatment,” OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher said. “The court’s decision in this case was a just outcome and illustrates that no one is above the law.”

  Dennis’ was initially suspended and charged back in September 2016 due to his job performance. Officials said he was accused of failing to follow State Police procedures while claiming otherwise in official records and certifications.

  When he was told to hand over his NJSP identifications, investigators found he surrendered most of them, but not all. Officials said he held onto a NJSP ID that he had obtained after reporting in January 2016 that he had lost his wallet.

  Investigators found that despite his suspension and pending criminal case, he used the ID and showed officers it when pulled over in Marlboro, Toms River, Berkeley Township, Lakehurst and elsewhere.

  Dennis was stopped nine times from the date of his suspension, September 19, 2016, through April 2018, and during those stops he had shown that ID and presented himself as an active member of the NJSP.

  Following his trial, on May 10, 2022, a jury convicted Dennis of one count each of second-degree official misconduct, second-degree pattern of official misconduct, and third-degree theft by unlawful taking in connection with his misuse of his ID to avoid motor vehicle citations.

  After hearing extensive arguments from both sides at the Monmouth County Courthouse in Freehold on March 15, Judge Lucas sentenced the defendant on both the official misconduct and pattern of official misconduct counts, with the sentences to run concurrently, and merged the theft count.

The court also ordered that Dennis forfeit his pension and job, and banned him from public employment for life.