Newark, new jersey police sergeant pleads guilty to obstruction of justice for attempted witness tampering
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2011
TRENTON, N.J. - Newark, N.J., police sergeant Michael J. Lalley pleaded guilty today to obstruction of justice for attempting to prevent a witness from truthfully communicating information to FBI agents conducting a federal criminal investigation, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Lalley, 43, of Jackson, N.J., who has been a member of the City of Newark, N.J., Police Department since 1990, entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court. The defendant was released on a $100,000 bond.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Lalley admitted that from Jan. 4, 2010, to Jan. 22, 2010, he encouraged and instructed an individual identified in the Indictment as Victim #2, to lie to the FBI about their past sexual relationship while Victim #2 was a minor. Lalley also admitted that, in January 2010 during the course of several consensually recorded conversations between Lalley and Victim #2, he intended to impede the FBI’s investigation into Lalley’s possible commission of federal offenses which included, among other matters, his sexual contact with minors.
Lalley admitted that during one conversation on January 19, 2010, he advised Victim #2 that law enforcement could not prove their past sexual relationship as long as Victim #2 kept “it on the DL [down-low].” Later, Lalley told Victim #2 to tell the FBI that Victim #2 was over 18 years of age at the time of their sexual contact, or else Victim #2 would have to go to court and testify and “everything else comes out.”
Lalley pleaded guilty to count one of the indictment charging him with obstruction of justice, which carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for April 14, 2011.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, in Newark, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, for the investigation of this case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Gramiccioni and Eric W. Moran of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division.
Defense counsel: Henry A. Klingeman, Esq., Newark and Michael A. Robbins, Esq., West Orange, N.