Trenton Police Officer Hid Gang Ties, Conspired with Imprisoned Latin Kings Member
A Trenton, NJ police officer faces charges for falsifying his job application to conceal his connection to the street gang Latin Kings and conspiring to help an inmate plan a retaliatory attack.
Rudy Lopez, 36, of Hamilton has been charged with official misconduct, conspiracy, and tampering with public records.
Lopez, a Trenton police officer since September 2020, fraudulently claimed he had no connection with gang members, all while regularly communicating with an imprisoned member of the Almighty Latin Kings and Queen Nation.
Lopez is currently suspended with pay.
“Instead of serving his community and making it safer, we allege Officer Rudy Lopez was colluding and sharing sensitive information with a convicted felon,” said OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher. “We will have no tolerance for suspected gang associates infiltrating the ranks of New Jersey’s police agencies.”
According to authorities, prior to his suspension, Lopez was in regular contact with a prisoner who is a gang member of the Latin Kings.
Lopez and the incarcerated gang member discussed an assault as retribution against a suspected cooperating witness, who the pair believed had provided information to put Lopez’s alleged co-conspirator behind bars.
According to investigators, Lopez also offered to track down the intended target’s location and relay that information to the inmate/coconspirator.
The official misconduct and conspiracy charges are both second-degree and carry a sentence of five to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
Tampering with public records is a third-degree crime that could trigger a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorneys General Samuel Rubinstein, Travis Miscia, and Jeffrey Conrad of the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability, under the supervision of OPIA Corruption Bureau Chief Peter Lee and OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione.
The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability and the Special Investigations Division of the NJ Department of Corrections.
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Currently, Lopez receives full pay under suspension while he awaits trial and sentencing.