FORT LEE, N.J. -- A Fort Lee police detective with a nose for hidden drugs was honored with two awards from a national law enforcement group for his work intercepting large amounts of heroin and cocaine.
The National Criminal Enforcement Association named T.J. Cullen its Investigator of the Year while also honoring him for a 6.8-pound seizure, believed to be the largest by a single officer in the country in 2014.
Cullen is consistently among the nation's leaders in seizing drugs secreted in electronically-controlled compartments of vehicles. Most are headed to or from New York City at or near the George Washington Bridge.
"We're proud of his dedication and professionalism," Police Chief Keith Bendul told Daily Voice. "He and his partner in the Narcotics Bureau, Detective Bryan Drumgoole, work day in and day out to take drugs off the road and intercept their distribution.
"It makes a difference," the chief added. "Whenever they take large amounts of drugs off the street, it's that many doses that aren't getting to our kids.
"You also never know which dose that doesn't make it out there is the one that could have killed someone. That's untold numbers of lives saved."
The NCEA is a non-profit organization comprised of law enforcement professionals who specialize in pro-active work.
Its members come from federal, state, county and local agencies and are highly trained in highway stops, money laundering, insurance fraud, computer crime and terrorism, among other areas.
"Cases are not finished when the traffic stop is over on the side of the road," the group says. "In reality, they have just begun."
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