Fugitive and Former Police Officer Accused of Tipping Off Gang Members


After being on the lam and AWOL from his trial for more than a week, fugitive and former Asbury Park police officer Keith German was found and arrested near Raleigh, North Carolina.

German, 48, of Tinton Falls, was taken into custody without incident around noon Wednesday at a strip mall outside of Raleigh by members of the U.S. Marshals New York-New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force, which includes two detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and one officer from the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Department.

Michael Schroeder, spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service, added that task force members, who traveled to the area Tuesday night, said German was arrested when he was spotted walking to his car in the strip mall parking lot. He was alone, Schroeder said.

“The prosecutor’s office and sheriff’s department, along with the Deputy U.S. Marshal, worked hand in hand, relentlessly on this investigation, which culminated into this core crew heading down to North Carolina,” Schroeder said.

Surveillance and information from interviews and databases is what led the team to locate and arrest German, he said.

German remains in federal custody until his initial court appearance, pending extradition to New Jersey, Schroeder said. He did not know when the court appearance will occur.

A bench warrant was issued for German, who was suspended without pay after his arrest in the “Dead End” investigation in 2014, after he failed to appear in court on June 20 for his trial, which began June 6. See the video above to learn more about “Operation Dead End.”

German’s attorney, Robert Ward, said Wednesday, when the trial broke for lunch, that he had spent all morning inside the courtroom and had no knowledge of German’s arrest.

Earlier this month, a neighbor told the Press that he saw a U-Haul truck in German’s driveway, but he thought German was just moving out.

Schroeder said he didn’t know anything about a U-Haul and said that to his knowledge, nothing was found on German when he was taken into custody.

Asbury Park Deputy Police Chief David Kelso confirmed that German submitted his resignation to the city on May 22, a day before jury selection for his trial began.

German worked for the Asbury Park Police Department for 16 years before his arrest in the “Operation Dead End” investigation into gang activity in 2014. Before the fugitive warrant, he was charged with nine offenses which could lead to 78 years of prison time if convicted on all counts.

German is being tried with James Fair, 29, of Asbury Park, an alleged leader of a set of the Bloods,and Haneef Walker, 24, of Asbury Park, an alleged member of the Crips.

Fair and Walker are charged with a host of crimes related to organized gang activity, including attempted murder. German is accused of tipping off the gang members to police investigations in exchange for their assistance in disparaging and stalking a woman who had rebuffed his advances.

In all, 53 people were charged as a result of “Operation Dead End,” and all but six have pleaded guilty.

As the trial continued Wednesday in German’s absence, a witness testified that Fair had supplied him with a ski mask to wear while committing an armed robbery of a rival’s friend in January 2014.

Kyre Wallace, who said he lived in Asbury Park for 26 of his 30 years and was a member of the Double I set of the Bloods while living there, testified that Fair wanted to go along with him and Anthony Esdaile when they robbed Tyshaun Dawson, but they committed the crime without Fair on Jan. 8, 2014.

“Pint didn’t want Dough to be involved,” Wallace explained.

Wallace previously said that Esdaile went by the street name, “Pint,” and Fair went by “Dough Boy.”

Wallace testified that he and Wallace agreed to rob Dawson because their intended victim was friends with “someone we had a beef with.”

Wallace said he had discussed the robbery plan with Fair and asked him for a ski mask.

Up until the day of the robbery, Fair planned to be involved in it, but when the day came, Fair was sick, and since Esdaile didn’t want him to come along, Wallace and Esdaile committed the crime without Fair, Wallace testified.

Esdaile and Wallace went to Dawson’s apartment building on Fifth Avenue in Asbury Park, both dressed all in black, with ski masks, Wallace said. Wallace was armed with a taser, and Esdaile had a gun, Wallace said. A “fiend” – a street term for a crack addict – let them into the building and then knocked on Dawson’s apartment door, while Esdaile held a gun to to the fiend’s head, Wallace testified.

“We got inside and made him give us the drugs and money,” Wallace said, referring to Dawson, adding that the victim’s girlfriend also was in the apartment.

“Tyshaun got pistol-whipped,” the witness testified. “He didn’t want to give the money up.”

Wallace and Esdaile left and split the proceeds of the robbery, Wallace said.

In a phone conversation the next day between Wallace and Fair, Fair asked if the robbery was on for that night.

The conversation was intercepted by detectives and played for the jury.

In the call, Wallace responded to Fair’s question about the robbery, “No, we did that last night.”

Fair appeared surprised and then told Wallace, “I’m mad as hell.”

Wallace said that when he was arrested in the robbery, he told detectives Fair had nothing to do with it, but he later implicated Fair after hearing their intercepted telephone conversations.

“You all played the tapes,” Wallace testified. “There was no way around it.”

Wallace pleaded guilty to robbery and racketeering for which he could have faced a total of 30 years in prison. But under a cooperation agreement with the state, prosecutors agreed to recommend he receive five years in prison with a requirement to serve 85 percent of that before parole consideration in exchange for his truthful testimony at the trial.

Source: app.com