MCI-Concord officer charged with drug trafficking

A Massachusetts correctional officer faces arraignment today on drug charges after the Middlesex district attorney’s office said he attempted to sell eight pounds of marijuana to a State Police trooper working undercover in Lowell.

The case against Robert Sweeney, 48, of Dracut, who works at MCI-Concord, is not related to the arrest of another correctional officer on Thursday in Winthrop, said Corey Welford, spokesman for District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.

Investigators were led to Sweeney in June, when they first learned he was allegedly dealing marijuana, the DA’s office stated. About 3:15 p.m. Saturday, he attempted to sell the marijuana to the trooper for $10,000, according to the office.

Police executed a search warrant at his address after the arrest and seized two pounds of marijuana, 100 bottles of steroids, and six tablets of ecstasy, Leone’s office said.

Investigators do not believe Sweeney sold drugs while on the job or used his position for criminal activity, the office stated.

Sweeney was suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation by the state Department of Correction, said Diane Wiffin, a department spokeswoman.

On Thursday, Scott Sears, 36, of Winthrop, a correctional officer with the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, was charged with transporting drugs to inmates at Billerica House of Correction, where he works, authorities said.

An undercover agent met with Sears at a doughnut shop in Winthrop and gave him drugs in a coffee cup. As payment, Sears allegedly received $150 in cash and 3 grams of cocaine. He has been suspended without pay from his job.

Sears was charged with two counts of possession, one with intent to distribute; committing a drug violation near a school or park; and delivering drugs to a prisoner.

Sweeney was being held on $20,000 cash bail on four counts of possession, two with intent to distribute; one count of distribution; and one count of conspiracy to violate the narcotics laws.

He is to be arraigned today in Lowell District Court.


Billerica corrections officer accused of smuggling drugs

BILLERICA — A corrections officer at the Middlesex House of Correction is facing drug charges after he was accused of buying drugs on the outside then smuggling them into the jail for inmates for a fee.

Scott Sears, 36, of Winthrop, was arrested Thursday at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Winthrop ending what officials say was a yearlong investigation into his alleged drug-smuggling operation, according to state police.

In October, state police and Middlesex Sheriff officials heard from informants that Sears was acting as a middleman between drug dealers and the jail in Billerica, where he worked.

Sears, a corrections officer for two years, would allegedly meet with dealers and buy drugs on behalf of inmates , then smuggle the drugs into the jail, charging inmates a fee.

Sears was arrested after state police and the sheriff’s office set up surveillance at a Dunkin’ Donuts on Revere Street on Thursday morning. An undercover agent met with Sears and allegedly gave him drugs in a coffee cup. As payment, Sears received $150 in cash and 3 grams of cocaine, officials said.

He was arraigned in East Boston Court and charged with possession of a Class D substance, possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute, conspiracy to deliver drugs into a prison and school zone violation. He was ordered held in the Suffolk County Jail on $15,000 cash bail. His next court date for a pretrial conference is scheduled for July 15.

Sears has been suspended with pay from his job pending an administrative disciplinary hearing.

Attorney Alexander Shapoval, Sears’ attorney, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Dubai prison boss sentenced to jail for inmate beatings

DUBAI (AFP) – The former director of a Dubai jail and 24 wardens and police officers have been sentenced to prison terms for beating up inmates during a check for drugs, Gulf newspapers reported on Monday.

The trial of such officials and subsequent publicity is extremely rare in the Gulf, and most newspapers carried the story on their front page.


Official newspaper Al-Ittihad said the men were all accused of “abuse of power and ill-treatment of detainees under their guard.”


The former director and six wardens and anti-riot police were sentenced to six months in prison while the 18 others received three-month sentences.


According to statements from the men who were attacked, the accused formed a double row outside the cells and ordered the men to come out. As they moved between the two lines, the wardens and police kicked and beat them.


One convict, an Armenian, suffered blows to his spine, and the trial judge declared “it was clear that the detainees have been beaten.”


Around a dozen convicts had complained about being assualted.


Defence counsel questioned the reliability of the detainees’ statements and a recording taken from one of the prison surveillance cameras. They said they would appeal against the verdict.


Feds: Vermont Inmate Paid Guard to Allow Sex Visits

BURLINGTON, Vt. —  A federal grand jury has indicted an Ascutney man on charges that he paid a guard at the Addison County Jail to allow a woman to come to the jail after visiting hours for sex.

Frank Sargent faces three counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. The U.S. attorney’s office for Vermont said the incidents occurred while he was at the Addison County Jail, which has a contract to house federal prisoners, while awaiting sentencing on a bankruptcy fraud conviction.

Authorities said Sargent was attempting to influence the woman, in hopes she would testify favorably to him at his upcoming sentencing hearing. He ended up being sentenced on the bankruptcy fraud charge to time served while his case was pending.

The indictment alleges Sargent told the woman to bring $300 to each of their meetings so he could pay the guard.

Court documents did not identify the guard or the woman, but said both are under investigation and charges against them are possible.


NYC Corrections Officers Fired for Giving Inmate Drugs

Two rogue Rikers Island guards who allegedly smuggled contraband to an accused cop killer were pushing marijuana, tobacco and alcohol, authorities revealed yesterday.

Correction officers August Durand, 31, and Michael Santiago, 24, were fired for supplying the illicit substances to inmate Lee Woods as he awaited trial for gunning down NYPD officer Russel Timoshenko.

Department of Correction spokesman Steve Morello said the quantities of booze, smokes and weed weren’t “significant.”

The guards, who worked in Woods’ housing unit, are suspected of giving him cups or swigs of some sort of alcohol, since no bottle was found in his cell. Tobacco and pot were found stashed away, officials said.

“It’s not unique for us to either intercept or discover marijuana or tobacco in the jail,” said Morello. “These commodities are in demand.”

He said the case has been referred to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Investigation.


Ex-Oregon youth prison warden indicted

LA GRANDE, Ore. (AP) – An indictment unsealed this week accuses the former superintendent of a youth detention center near La Grande of stealing state property and tampering with witnesses.

Darrin Humphreys of Bend was arraigned Thursday on more than two dozen counts of theft, official misconduct and other charges. The most serious of the charges are seven counts of first-degree theft.

Humphreys resigned as superintendent of the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn last June, shortly after the Oregon State Police started investigating his activities while running RiverBend, a 50-bed detention center in Eastern Oregon.

Humphreys did not enter a plea, and he was neither held in custody nor required to post bail. His attorney declined to comment.


Corrections officer gets probation in jail scandal

STROUDSBURG — Former Monroe County Correctional Facility guard Dana Simpson, 35, of Tobyhanna, was sentenced Thursday to a year’s probation after pleading guilty to a contraband charge (lending his cell phone to an inmate).

The incident occurred in January 2005, while Simpson was employed at the jail. He, five other corrections officers and a cook were charged after an investigation into allegations of employees having sexual contact with or providing contraband to inmates.

The following also have been sentenced:


  • Former guard Mark Gutshall, 40, of Blakeslee, to three to 23 months in Monroe County Correctional Facility after pleading guilty to institutional sexual assault.
  • Former guard Roodney Ulysse, 35, of Tobyhanna, to a year’s probation after pleading no contest to contraband charges.
  • Former guard Yvonne Lockard, 32, of Tobyhanna, to a year’s probation after pleading guilty to contraband charges.
  • Former guard Karen Stone, 38, of Mount Pocono, to a year’s probation after pleading guilty to contraband charges.
  • Former guard Frank Bell, 51, of Bangor, to a year’s probation after pleading guilty to contraband charges.
  • Former cook Misty Mate, 31, of Albrightsville, to a year’s probation after pleading guilty to contraband charges.