A New Jersey cop was arrested on Tuesday for luring people to meet up with him, asking them to bring narcotics, then arresting and steering his targets to a drug rehab program in which he has a financial stake.
When West Deptford police officer Thomas M. McWain, 30, realized an investigation was underway, he deleted incriminating text messages of him asking someone to bring drugs to a traffic stop so he could arrest them and then refer them to Shields Against Addiction rehab center where he also works as a program coordinator.
Before being busted by his own department for filing a false police reports for his revenue generating scheme, officer McWain claimed he just wanted to help people.
McWain’s professional record as a cop includes several accolades and awards, according to NJ.com.
Before working for West Deptford, McWain worked as a cop for South Harrison Township where he was recognized as a “Top Gun” officer in 2010 for his high number of DWI arrests.
He was honored by the Deptford Township Committee in 2016 for being the first officer in the state of New Jersey to earn a certification as an addiction recovery coach after training through The Addictions Academy in Miami.
According to the commendation he received, officer McWain enrolled in drug addiction rehab courses at his own expense to help him recognize the signs of addiction and help addicts on the road to recovery.
The proclomation honored McWain as “a source of pride for West Deptford Township.”
“Through his dedication and desire to help the recovery community, Patrolman Thomas McWain has proven himself to be a source of pride for West Deptford Township and a true asset to our community and police departments statement.”
According to McWain, he just wanted to help people.
“We’re arresting the same people over and over again,” he said in 2016 after receiving his award, lamenting the lack of options for addicts when they encounter police.
“I wanted to be able to find something else to do.”
Charges against McWain, announced this week, involve a case from earlier this year in which McWain filed a “false narrative” in an arrest report regarding evidence seizure.
He sought to refer “a subject with whom he had contact as a West Deptford Township police officer” to a drug rehab facility in which he had a financial interest, detectives said.
According to police, the allegations against McWain involve more than one incident.
Authorities at the West Deptford Police Department said they learned something was awry in April and launched an internal affairs investigation.
Some of the evidence collected during the investigation includes body cam footage, according to West Deptford Township Police Chief Sam DiSimone.
At one point, Chief DiSimone said he was happy with McWain.
“I was ecstatic with him,” he said Wednesday. “He was getting drugs off the street.”
“He was helping people.”
Officer McWain, who refers to himself as a program coordinator at Shields Against Addiction on his LinkedIn profile, was arrested on November 9, after surrendering to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office where he was charged with official oppression.
A testimonial written by McWain appears on the Shields Against Addiction website.
“Destroying the stigma surrounding addiction, especially in those on the front lines, is one of the first steps we can take in helping solve the opiate epidemic. This seminar is the place to start.”
He has been suspended without pay and is scheduled to appear in court December 21.