- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - An Essex County Sheriff’s Officer is charged with interfering with the investigation of a heroin distribution ring after allegedly tipping off drug dealers.

Police say 28-year-old Sheriff’s Office Robert Andrews disclosed information to the subjects of the investigation and assisted in identifying law enforcement officers to members of the distribution ring.

Operation TIDE, a seven-month investigation by members of the Essex County Narcotics Task Force, resulted in dozens of arrests.

Prosecutors say the drug trafficking ring was run by members of the 793 Bloods, a street gang operating throughout Essex County.

Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura confirmed that Andrews has been suspended without pay since July 2.

Andrews remained silent when asked about the allegations by NJ.com when he was led in handcuffs into the courthouse on Thursday.

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