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Former Camden police supervisor sentenced in illegal-drug searches

A former Camden police supervisor who admitted he stole money during illegal drug searches was sentenced Tuesday to eight months in prison.

A former Camden police supervisor who admitted he stole money during illegal drug searches was sentenced Tuesday to eight months in prison.

Dan E. Morris, 49, of Moorestown, apologized to U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler for his behavior. He was given four months of home confinement following his prison term.

Morris, who pleaded guilty, was a sergeant with an elite narcotics squad created to combat drug problems across Camden.

Federal prosecutors said five of the unit's officers engaged in activities including planting drugs on suspects, fabricating reports, stealing money, and exchanging drugs for information from prostitutes. Morris was the highest-ranking of the officers, who were charged in 2010 in the conspiracy.

Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk dismissed criminal charges in about 200 cases the men were involved in, saying evidence to support the charges had been tainted. Some who had their cases dropped probably were guilty, Faulk said at the time.

Officer Kevin Parry, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced in October to 20 months. Jason Stetser pleaded guilty and is to be sentenced next month.

Two others, Antonio Figueroa and Robert Bayard, went to trial. Figueroa was found guilty last December and was sentenced to 10 years. Robert Bayard was acquitted. Morris cooperated with authorities in the officers' trial.

According to court records, Morris admitted that he conducted searches without warrants or consent between May 2007 and September 2008. He used threats or coerced consents to search some homes, stole money during the illegal searches and arrests, and allowed officers he supervised to fabricate information in police reports that he signed.

Morris joined the department in 1986. According to court records, he was injured on the job in September 2008 and removed from active duty. He retired in January 2010.

By that time, federal investigators were actively looking into the squad, which prosecutors said Morris supervised when the officers' crimes unfolded. He was charged about seven months after he retired.

During his guilty plea, Morris admitted specific examples.

In August 2008, he and other officers illegally searched a Camden residence and uncovered drugs used to charge a resident. He kept a portion of the money found during the search, Morris said. Stetser allegedly falsified the arrest report.

In September 2008, Morris, Stetser, and Parry searched a residence in the area of Ferry Avenue. Morris said he stole a quantity of money he found in a bedroom dresser, sharing $800 with Stetser after the search.