Courts Crack Down on Correction Officers Smuggling Contraband into Jails

Throughout the nation this week, corrections officers have been indicted and sentenced for accepting bribes from inmates at detention facilities and smuggling in contraband gadgets in Pennsylvania, New York and Texas.

In a Philadelphia metropolis jail, a corrections officer allegedly labored with an incarcerated man to create a black market amongst detainees for cell telephones and medicines, Samantha Melamed reports for the Philadelphia Inquirer. The officer additionally coordinated buying and delivering no less than one AR-15 assault rifle to an outdoor ally to help in a revenge homicide.

Khalif Workman, nicknamed the “Pizza Man,” was charged with corrupt group fees for allegedly accepting greater than $23,000 in bribes to conduct a felony smuggling ring with a prisoner at Riverside Correctional Facility, based on a grand jury presentment unsealed Wednesday.

Texts between Garland and co-conspirators introduced in the course of the trial present him directing alleged co-conspirators about expectations for drug gross sales throughout cell blocks inside the jail system.

One other Pennsylvania correctional officer was arrested and pleaded responsible to smuggling medication and telephones into jails final yr.

In Lubbock, Texas, a grand jury indicted Alsires Genaro Betancur III, a former Lubbock County detention officer, on Tuesday for offering prohibited substances within the jail the place he labored, Gabriel Monte reports for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

An area sheriff’s workplace arrested Betancur as a part of an investigation into narcotics and different contraband discovered within the detention middle, however Betancur was particularly charged with smuggling tattoo pens and tobacco to detainees.

Along with Betancur, two capsule technicians who labored with the jail’s healthcare supplier have been arrested for offering contraband to inmates.

Detention middle Chief Cody Scott advised the Avalanche that detainees would exploit officers’ weaknesses and ask them to herald prohibited gadgets that appear negligible, like tobacco, alcohol and money. As soon as the officer complies, they might use the smuggling to extort the officer for extra severe contraband.

Rashawn Assanah, a former correction officer on the Robert N. Davoren Middle on Rikers Island in New York, was sentenced on Wednesday as nicely to over two years in jail and hundreds in fines for accepting bribes from detainees to smuggle contraband. Assanah beforehand pled responsible to bribery and conspiracy fees in 2021.

The Division of Justice’s Public Corruption Unity introduced the sentencing within the Southern District of New York in a release.

“Rashawn Assanah violated his oath to guard inmates in his care when he accepted money bribes to smuggle harmful contraband into Rikers Island,” U.S. Legal professional Damian Williams stated.

“His jail sentence ought to ship a transparent message to any correction officer who could also be tempted to smuggle contraband to inmates: it is a severe crime that results in severe jail time.”

Audrey Nielsen is a contributing editor for The Crime Report.