FREEHOLD - Helping gangs carry on with minimal interruption on Asbury Park's streets, abetting a drug ring and illegally tapping into a law enforcement data base sends former Asbury Park Police Officer Keith German to prison for 10 years.

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Once released, the 16-year career officer from Tinton Falls, convicted in late September, is also forbidden from holding any publicly-paid position in New Jersey, according to the office of Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni.

"This sentence sends a strong message that there will be zero tolerance for cops who commit crimes. It only takes one bad cop to adversely affect the reputation of so many that do the job with honor and integrity," Gramiccioni said in prepared comments. "For these reasons, the public should be reassured that we will continue to prosecute crooked cops to the fullest extent of the law."

After a four-month trial, German, 49, was found guilty of three second-degree counts of official misconduct, second-degree computer theft, second-degree unlawful access and disclosure, third-degree hindering apprehension, fourth-degree conspiracy to commit stalking, and a disorderly-persons count of harassment.

Also convicted were Asbury Park residents Haneef Walker, 25, described as a Crip, and James Fair, 29, described as a Blood. Walker is due for sentencing Wednesday, and sentencing for Fair follows on Thursday.

Both were found guilty of first-degree racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault and other crimes inside and outside Asbury Park.

The stalking charge referred to what prosecutors described as German's enlistment of gang help in pursuit of a woman, in exchange for confidential information that kept criminals a step ahead of law enforcement.

The spate of crime bred "Operation Dead End," a 14-month probe that began in Summer 2013. The identifier is a reference to Dewitt Avenue and Jersey Street, where investigators said that criminal activity was based.

Detectives discovered coordinated efforts to throw law enforcement off the scent, and counter-intelligence against police developed with German's help.

Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Matthew Bogner and Joseph Cummings compiled the government's case. German retained the services of Brick Township attorney Robert P. Ward.

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