An Essex County corrections officer reportedly admitted that he smuggled marijuana and cell phones to prisoners at the Essex County Jail in Newark, New Jersey.
According to federal prosecutors, the 26-year-old Irvington man smuggled the items, along with tobacco, to an inmate in exchange for $4,000 in cash bribes. The cash payouts were allegedly made by two friends of the inmate.
After receiving the items from the suspect, the inmate then allegedly resold them to other inmates. Prosecutors allege that he received payment via Western Union money transfers. The inmate was reportedly being held at the facility on federal carjacking charges at the time.
The illegal activity allegedly continued from October 2013 through May 2014. The corrections officer was arrested in May 2014 after a major investigation by the FBI.
The corrections officer has been charged with conspiring to commit extortion.
Appearing in U.S. District Court in Newark, the suspect reportedly admitted guilt. As part of the plea agreement, the suspect forfeited $4,000 in proceeds from the smuggling conspiracy. When he is sentenced in January 2015, he will be subject to a sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
Charges are still pending against the inmate who allegedly received the smuggled items. His sentence could be extended if he is convicted of possessing contraband in a correctional facility.
For more information, check out the NJ.com article entitled “Essex County Corrections Officer Admits Role in Marijuana Smuggling Ring.”