According to a source close to the investigation, two state police officers from New Jersey could be charged criminally on Friday for their involvement in the escorting of a high-speed caravan to Atlantic City earlier this year. One of the vehicles was driven by former New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs. The two officers, Sgt. 1st Class Nassir Nassry and trooper Joseph Ventrella, have been suspended since April without pay. The incident occurred in March. Nassry has been with the State Police for 25 years. Ventrella was ordered by Nassry to assist with the escort, according to reports.
The caravan was escorted south along the Garden State Parkway at speeds that sometimes reached 100 MPH. The caravan made the national news after a passerby recorded the escort of exotic cars and deemed it the ‘Death Race 2012.’ The vehicles involved included Porches, Lamborghinis and many other exotic vehicles. There were no injuries from the escort and no accidents as the caravan traveled from northern New Jersey to Atlantic City, the gambling capital of the state.
The video, taken by a construction worker, showed that some of the vehicles had tape over the license plates so they could not be tracked. The appearance of the tape on the license plates prompted the Attorney General to think about filing criminal charges. On Thursday morning, Nassry filed retirement papers with the State Police only hours after his attorney was scheduled to hold a news conference. The attorney, Charles Sciarra, was going to criticize the Attorney General for the consideration of criminal charges being filed.
Nassry could lose his pension by either taking a plea bargain or by being convicted. This would amount to $3 million over his lifetime. Sometime Friday, New Jersey Attorney General Jeff Chiesa is going to announce new policies for escorting vehicles. Chiesa will also announce new internal discipline actions for multiple troopers who took part in another caravan in 2010 that was captured on video and posted to the internet.