A township police officer has been charged with several drug and weapon offenses following an investigation into allegations he had been illegally purchasing prescription pills.
Ptl. Thomas E. Eden Jr. was arrested Tuesday at approximately 2:30 p.m. at the Howard Johnson Express Inn at 832 N. Black Horse Pike, in the township's Blenheim section, after he allegedly purchased seven prescription pills from a police informant, Police Chief W. Harry Earle said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Eden was on duty, in uniform and driving a township police cruiser at the time of his arrest, according to Earle.
Eden, 31, was released on his own recognizance following his arrest. He has been "suspended without pay with the intent to dismiss," Earle said.
Eden is scheduled to appear in court on April 11, according to the arrest warrant obtained by Gloucester Township Patch.
Eden is accused of purchasing five 30 mg Percocet pills and two Oxycontin placebo pills from an undercover officer, according to Earle.
He was also in possession of three oxycodone and two alprazolam pills when he was arrested. It is alleged Eden did not have a prescription for those pills, either.
Eden, a seven-year veteran of the Gloucester Township Police Department, has been charged with third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance, third-degree possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, third-degree possession of an imitation controlled dangerous substance and second-degree possession of a firearm while committing a drug offense.
The second-degree charge carries a five- to 10-year prison term. The third-degree charges carry mandatory three- to five-year prison sentences.
The investigation was conducted by the Gloucester Township Police Department's Professional Standards Bureau after police received what Earle described as an anonymous tip that Eden was illegally purchasing prescription pills. Earle would not indicate how long ago the tip was received.
Gloucester Township Police issued a announcing the arrest Wednesday morning. The officer was not identified in that statement.
Check back with Gloucester Township Patch for more details on this developing story.
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