Criminal Charges Filed Against Essex County Detective For Allegedly Lying to Conceal That He Installed GPS Device On Suspect’s Vehicle Without Warrant

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that criminal charges were filed today against a suspended detective in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for allegedly lying to internal affairs investigators in an investigation concerning his installation of a Global Positioning System (“GPS”) device on a suspect’s vehicle without obtaining the required warrant from a judge or departmental authorization.

The Office of Public Integrity and Accountability charged Timothy Kealy, 27, of Bloomfield, N.J., by complaint-summons with the following criminal offenses:

  • Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution (3rd Degree)
  • Tampering with Public Records or Information (3rd Degree)

The Professional Standards Bureau (“PSB”) of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office (“ECPO”) began investigating Kealy in January 2020 after learning that Kealy, who was assigned to the Essex County Narcotics Task Force, had allegedly purchased and installed a GPS tracking device on a suspect’s car without formal or legal authority. The ECPO has a process by which detectives must obtain permission from supervisors to apply to a judge for a warrant, and only ECPO-issued GPS devices may be used. A court-issued warrant is required by law for law enforcement to install a GPS device on a vehicle.

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