- Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A former Jersey City police officer is going to federal prison for 3 years for his role in the theft of more than half a million cigarettes and extorting $20,000 from a person he thought was a drug courier.

Mario Rodriguez pleaded guilty in federal court in Trenton to transporting stolen goods and extortion conspiracy.

A judge on Friday also ordered him to pay a $2,000 fine.

The U.S. attorney’s office says the 40-year-old Jersey City resident was approached by a government informant in 2013 to help steal cigarettes and TVs from a trailer in Secaucus. The two allegedly sold the goods on Staten Island to an undercover officer posing as a buyer.

Rodriguez also admitted extorting $20,000 from the drug courier who was an undercover FBI agent.

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