In two recent cases involving officers from the Newark Police Department, the officers were each facing criminal charges which resulted in the loss of their jobs. In addition, both officers received plea agreements from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office providing them with reduced sentences.
The first case involved 44-year-old Ugo Bellomo, a former detective for the department, who was indicted on aggravated assault charges after pointing his weapon at a driver in Millburn in November of 2012. Bellomo, whose brother-in-law is Director of the Newark Police Department, Samuel DeMaio, accepted a plea agreement entering him into a Pre-Trial Intervention Program. Per the terms of his agreement, Bellomo will avoid a criminal conviction if he successfully completes the program.
Considering the potential consequences of an aggravated assault conviction, Bellomo achieved an extremely desirable outcome with his entrance into a PTI Program. Aggravated assault involving a firearm is governed under paragraph (4) of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b, and is considered a crime of the fourth degree. Crimes of the fourth degree are punishable by a term of incarceration of up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison.
In the most recent case, 41-year-old Johnathan Taylor was charged with insurance fraud,aggravated arson, and conspiracy, after he set fire to his own vehicle in March of 2012 in order to file a fraudulent insurance claim. On Monday, January 13th, he received a sentence including three years of probation as well as 200 hours of community service in exchange for pleading guilty to a charge for third-degree insurance fraud.
If convicted of the original charges against him, Taylor would have been facing a significant term of imprisonment. For instance, aggravated arson, which is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1, is classified as a crime of the second degree, which is punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison.
In both cases, these former public servants were able to substantially diminish the potential penalties associated with their crimes with the cooperation of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
For more information pertaining to the most recent case, access the following article: Newark cop loses job, sentenced to 3 years probation for torching SUV