First Responders

Rogue New Jersey Cop Vows To Appeal Corruption Conviction

September 13, 2022Joshua Skovlund
Michael Cheff, 51, of Oakland, New Jersey, was convicted May 26, 2022 by a federal jury in Newark on one count of conspiracy to deprive persons of civil rights and one count of falsifying a police report. Coffee or Die Magazine composite.

Michael Cheff, 51, of Oakland, New Jersey, was convicted May 26, 2022 by a federal jury in Newark on one count of conspiracy to deprive persons of civil rights and one count of falsifying a police report. Coffee or Die Magazine composite.

Sentenced to 33 months behind bars for leading a band of rogue New Jersey cops, convicted ex-Paterson Police Sgt. Michael Cheff won’t back down.

In an email to Coffee or Die Magazine, Cheff’s attorney, John Lynch, insisted that the 51-year-old “Cheff maintains his innocence, as he has since day one, and he intends to appeal.”

A federal jury convicted Cheff on May 26 of conspiring to deprive citizens of their civil rights, plus a sole count of falsifying a police report. US District Judge Katharine S. Hayden sentenced him Monday, Sept. 12, in Newark. He had faced up to 30 years in prison, if the sentences on both crimes were served consecutively, plus a $500,000 fine.

“Whether local, state, or federal, those of us who carry a badge have to prove ourselves worthy every single day,” FBI Special Agent in Charge James Dennehy, Newark Division, said in a prepared statement Monday. “This defendant not only betrayed his badge and the public who entrusted him with it, he led his subordinates down a path of self-destruction and left his fellow officers to deal with the fallout. We value the strong partnerships we have with our local and state counterparts. Officers who betray their oath are few and far between and we are committed to protecting the integrity of the badge to benefit those who work hard to protect it, as well as protect the general public.”


Rogue New Jersey cop

Six former Paterson Police Department officers have been convicted and sentenced for public corruption: Eudy Ramos, Daniel Pent, Jonathan Bustios, Matthew Torres, Frank Toledo, and ex-Sgt. Michael Cheff. Paterson Police Department photo.

Cheff joined the force in 1996. He was the last of six Paterson officers to get sentenced on the federal anti-corruption charges.

The others netted by the FBI public corruption probe in 2018 pleaded guilty after confessing to routinely frisking bystanders on the street, initiating traffic stops, or searching residences to seize cash, firearms, and narcotics and then covering up their crimes by lying on official police reports.

Frank Toledo, 33, Eudy Ramos, 35, and Jonathan Bustios, 33, will spend two years in a federal penitentiary.

Daniel Pent, 35, drew an 18-month sentence. Matthew Torres, 33, got three years of probation.

Throughout Cheff’s five-day trial, federal prosecutors painted him as a corrupt cop who let the misconduct of his rogue officers go unchecked and sometimes took a more direct role in their shenanigans.


Rogue New Jersey cop

Six former Paterson Police Department officers have been convicted and sentenced for public corruption: Eudy Ramos, Daniel Pent, Jonathan Bustios, Matthew Torres, Frank Toledo, and ex-Sgt. Michael Cheff. Paterson Police Department photo.

Prosecutors pointed to the Nov. 14, 2017, traffic stop of Jose Acevedo. After stealing cash from his coat, the cops drove him in a police cruiser to his apartment, where they tricked Acevedo’s mother into consenting to a search of his room.

Authorities said Ramos and Bustios watched Cheff pull $2,000 and drugs out of a home safe while Torres stood guard over Acevedo outside the building. They detailed how Cheff then gave Bustios $319 to log into evidence, which he wrote was found on a shelf, not inside a safe.

Acevedo estimated the cops stole $2,700 in cash and narcotics from his flat. Jurors reading text messages exchanged by Bustios and Torres learned that Cheff “got us for over a stack today” because their sergeant “grabbed the cash.”

“It’s a sad day when we have to announce the sentencing of a law enforcement official who has violated his oath, as we do today,” US Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said in a prepared statement on Monday. “This defendant preyed on the public he had sworn to protect and violated the rights of citizens in the process, all to line his pockets and those of the officers he was supposed to be supervising. We work hand-in-hand with our local law enforcement partners, and those partnerships are critical to our work. We will not tolerate the few bad officers who tarnish the badge.”

Read Next: Minnesota Prison Guard Who Fell for Inmate Now Convicted Drug Dealer


Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis that followed the death of George Floyd. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he earned his CrossFit Level 1 certificate and worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. he went on to work in paramedicine for more than five years, much of that time in the North Minneapolis area, before transitioning to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion, where he publishes poetry focused on his life experiences.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Military
‘Butter Butter Jam!’: Troops Loved, and Hated, the M249 SAW

For nearly 50 years, the SAW has played a major role in America’s wars. Now it’s being replaced by new weapons.

February 8, 2023Mac Caltrider
Coffee Or Die Photo
Military
Space Force Vows ‘Above and Beyond’ Cleanup of Maui Spill

Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir, the commander of the U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific, said a team will t...

February 8, 2023Associated Press
Coffee Or Die Photo
Military
Navy Releases First Photos of Chinese Balloon Recovery

In the newest images released by the Navy on Tuesday, sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks at the Pentagon in Washington, Nov. 16, 2022. Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who oppose a COVID-19 vaccination requirement on religious grounds want a federal appeals court to keep alive their legal fight against the Biden administration. Congress voted to end the requirement in December 2022, but vaccine opponents note that commanders can still make decisions on how and whether to deploy unvaccinated troops, under a memo signed last month by Austin. AP photo by Susan Walsh, File.
Military
Vaccine Litigation Lingers After Lifting of Military Mandate

Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who refuse to be vaccinated for religious...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Armed Forces Service Medal
Military
Who Earns the Armed Forces Service Medal?

The Department of Defense honors heroism in combat in many ways, but there is also an award — the Ar...

February 7, 2023Noelle Wiehe
Soldiers carry the coffin of Eduard Strauss, a Ukrainian serviceman who died in combat on Jan. 17 in Bakhmut, during a farewell ceremony in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. AP photo by Daniel Cole.
Intel
Russian Forces Keep Up Pressue As Ukraine Anniversary Nears

Russian forces are keeping Ukrainian troops tied down with attacks in the eastern Donbas region as M...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Chinese spy balloon
Military
Blown to Bits! Chinese Spy Balloon Blasted, Plummets Into Sea

The US Air Force downed the Chinese balloon that's been soaring over the US.

February 4, 2023Carl Prine
germany, european union, ukraine gas reserves
Intel
Ukraine Wants To Store Europe’s Strategic Gas Reserves

Ukraine maintains 12 underground gas storage facilities with a total capacity of about 31 billion cu...

February 3, 2023Nolan Peterson
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved