ISLAND HEIGHTS – An Island Heights police officer has been indicted by a Grand Jury for hiding weapons after he was ordered to turn all over due to a restraining order, officials said.
Matthew Curtis, 47, of Little Egg Harbor Township, was indicted on charges of providing a False Report to Law Enforcement Authorities, Contempt of a Judicial or Protective Order, and being a Certain Person prohibited from Possessing a Weapon.
According to authorities, Curtis was ordered to surrender any guns he owned due to a temporary restraining order issued against him on May 11, 2022. He turned over a number of weapons but kept some.
Two days later, he wrote a letter to police that he had sold three handguns that were registered to him. Police said a weapons trace conducted by the United States Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives indicated, however, that Curtis remained the registered owner of those weapons.
On December 11, 2022, Curtis filed a report with the Little Egg Harbor Police Department that three handguns were stolen from his unlocked personal car in front of his home. Police said one of the guns he reported stolen was one of the weapons he had already claimed he sold. That gun was recovered from a suspect accused of a motor vehicle theft and eluding in Essex County.
Subsequently, Curtis was processed at the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office and released on a summons pending a future appearance in Ocean County Superior Court. He was also suspended with pay from his position with the Island Heights Police Department.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer acknowledged the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Heisler who presented the case to the Grand Jury on behalf of the State, and commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Standards Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Domestic Violence/Weapons Squad, Little Egg Harbor Police Department, and United States Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation.
The charges referenced are merely accusations and the public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law