Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on February 13, 2023, Matthew Curtis, 47, of Little Egg Harbor Township, was charged with providing a False Report to Law Enforcement Authorities, Contempt of a Judicial or Protective Order, and being a Certain Person prohibited from Possessing a Weapon.
The charges result from an investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Standards Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Domestic Violence/Weapons Squad, and Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department. The investigation revealed that Curtis – a Detective with the Island Heights Police Department – was required to surrender to law enforcement any guns that he owned or possessed pursuant to the imposition of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued against him on May 11, 2022. On that date, Curtis surrendered a number of weapons to law enforcement. On May 13, 2022, Curtis authored and signed a letter advising law enforcement that he had sold three handguns that were registered to him prior to the issuance of the TRO, and indicated he no longer owned those weapons. A subsequent weapons trace conducted by the United States Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives indicated, however, that Curtis remained the registered owner of the subject handguns. On December 11, 2022, Curtis filed a report with the Little Egg Harbor Police Department, asserting that three handguns were stolen from his unlocked personal vehicle in front of his home. Investigation further revealed that one of those handguns he reported stolen was one of the weapons he claimed to have sold prior to the issuance of the TRO. That same weapon was recovered from a defendant accused of a motor vehicle theft and eluding in Essex County, New Jersey.
On February 14, 2023, Curtis was processed at the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office and released on a summons pending a future appearance in Ocean County Superior Court. He was also suspended with pay from his position with the Island Heights Police Department.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Standards Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Domestic Violence/Weapons Squad, Little Egg Harbor Police Department, and United States Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation.
The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.