He’s a Secaucus police officer, but Officer Michael Cucciniello took on another role.
Officials announced the 43-year-old has been charged with obtaining a steroid gel called Androgel testosterone, and then selling it on eBay.
“It’s a dark day for the Secaucus Police Department,” says acting Secaucus Police Chief John Cerny of Friday’s arrest of the cop, on the charge of obtaining a controlled dangerous substance by fraud, according to NJ.com
“Police officers are sworn to uphold laws,” Cerny says. “They also have to abide by those very same laws. Wrongdoing will not be tolerated. We owe that to the public who entrusts us, as well as the men and women of this department who come to work every single day and do their job the right way. The Secaucus Police Department continues to remain committed to our community.”
Investigators allege that Cucciniello obtained the steroid and sold it online between Feb. 24, 2013 and Oct. 30, 2013, based on the probe by Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Internal Affairs Unit in cooperation with the Secaucus Police Department, Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Gene Rubino says.
Cucciniello is scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday on the charge in Central Judicial Processing Court in Jersey City, after being processed and released on a summons complaint, typical of a third degree crime.
The charge carries a possible three to five year prison sentence, although there is a presumption of non-incarceration for first-time offenders.
According to the FDA, Androgel is used to treat low testosterone in men. The testosterone makes it a controlled substance (Schedule III) because it has a high potential for abuse. It’s available by prescription only and is illegal to give or sell this drug to anyone else.
Cucciniello has been suspended without pay and is being allowed to use some of his comp time, according to Secaucus Mayor Mike Gonnelli.
Rubino says the medication was legally prescribed to Cucciniello by a physician, and no one else is being investigated in connection with the case.
Jillian Risberg, HCTV