Prison Worker Charged With Smuggling Contraband

DENVER (CBS4) ― A former religious service counselor at a Florence prison was charged Monday with providing contraband, cigarettes and heroin, to an inmate.

John E. Thacker, 42, of Pueblo, who worked at the high-security U.S. Penitentiary, was charged in U.S. District Court.

An investigator said the inmate told him the inmate sold the cigarettes to other inmates for $200 a pack and they resold the packs for about $500 each.

Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are prohibited in federal prisons and considered substances that threaten “the order and discipline” of prisons, the investigator, Paul Sullivan, wrote in a court affidavit.

The investigator said Thacker “indicated he brought (the inmate) approximately 20 cartons of cigarettes on 4 or 5 occasions in 2006.”

Sullivan said another inmate and the inmate’s wife told the investigator that the wife gave Thacker $1,500 to smuggle in contraband, including a small quantity of heroin hidden inside cigarette cartons.

The investigator said Thacker stated he had been offered money, but denied he received any money and denied knowing that heroin was in the cartons. He resigned his job with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

D.A. Files Charges Against Denver Deputy, Officer

The Denver district attorney filled charges against a Denver sheriff’s deputy and a police officer Monday.

The sheriff’s deputy is being charged with assault for allegedly assaulting an arrestee while being processed at the Denver City Jail, said D.A. Mitch Morrissey.The alleged assault happened in May.

Morrissey said the deputy, identified as Daniel Steckman, 34, is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 7.


Female jail officer is arrested, fired

A Florence County jail officer has been arrested and fired from her job after deputies said she had inappropriate communications with an inmate.

Roberta Mention, 51, was arrested Tuesday and charged with misconduct in office, the (Florence) Morning News reports.

Florence County Sheriff’s Lt. Brett Camp says authorities began investigating Mention after they believe she received written materials from an inmate at the jail in August and delivered them to someone outside the facility.


Newton Co. Detention Officer Arrested for Stealing from Inmates

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. (MyFOX ATLANTA) – A Newton County detention officer was released from jail Thursday after being arrested for allegedly stealing from an inmate.  Thirty-one-year-old Rededria English worked for the Newton County jail for three years, but now she is without a job and facing criminal charges.

English was arrested Monday at work after investigators said she arranged to use an inmates’ child support debit card. Investigators said English agreed to deposit cash into the inmates’ jail account but held on to the card for her personal gain.

Video: Newton Co. Detention Officer Arrested for Stealing from Inmates
FOX 5’s George Franco Reports

“There were two separate times and it was a total of 280 dollars,” said Investigator Sharon Stewart of the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

English was fired and now she faces charges of theft by taking, financial transaction card fraud and violation of oath by a public officer.

The Newton County Sheriff’s Office said detention officers weren’t supposed to handle an inmates money and that’s why there is an ATM inside the jail lobby behind bars.

Cash can be deposited or withdrawn by inmates or their friends and family.

English was out of jail on bond Thursday, but investigators said when she was arrested she was held at a different jail for her own safety.


Rikers Island honchos canned before cop killer Lee Woods scandal

Sunday, September 14th 2008, 10:34 PM

Top brass at a Rikers Island jail got the ax a month before guards there were accused of giving drugs, booze and sex to suspected cop killer Lee Woods, the Daily News has learned.

“We were aware that the jail wasn’t operating properly,” Correction Department spokesman Stephen Morello said Sunday.

Carmine Labruzzo replaced Robert Shaw as warden at the maximum-security George R. Vierno Center on June 1. Four new deputies and a captain started with him.

“We were dissatisfied with performance at the jail and placed a new management team there,” Morello said. “They were put there to make things right, and that’s what they’ve been doing.”

Woods, accused getaway driver in last year’s slaying of NYPD Officer Russel Timoshenko, tripped a metal detector on June 25, leading his jailers to believe he swallowed a key.

Later that day, rookie Officers Auguste Durand, 31, and Michael Santiago, 24, were fired for allegedly giving Woods marijuana, cigarettes, rolling papers and liquor.

Another officer, Kadessha Mullgrav, was transferred amid allegations she had sexual relations with Woods.


Jail Guard Arrested

Another corrections officer at the Columbiana County Jail, Is charged with providing contraband to inmates.  Nathaniel Barnes of Youngstown, is charged with smuggling marijuana and cigarette tobacco into the facility.  It’s actually the second time in less than a year that a corrections officer has been charged with similar crimes. Task force officials say this most recent arrest was part of an ongoing investigation that came after agents learned one or more corrections officers may have been involved in the scheme.


Hudson County corrections officer gets 5 years for trying to smuggle drugs into jail

A former Hudson County corrections officer was sentenced to five years in prison this morning after pleading guilty to drug possession with intent to distribute for attempting to smuggle marijuana and heroin into the county jail.

“I’m just very sorry,” said Mark Anthony Figueroa, 32, of Bayonne, before being sentenced by state Superior Court Judge Kevin Callahan, who snapped back, “Very sorry? You ruined your life . . . You took an oath.”

After the sentencing one of Figueroa’s family members began hyperventilating and had to be held up by two people in the courthouse hallway as she repeated, “I hate you. I hate you,” but seemed to switch to “I love you.”

Callahan said he would have sentenced Figueroa to 20 years in prison if he had been convicted on all the charges he originally faced, which included seven drug counts, attempted official misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse.

Figueroa, who was arrested in October near Lincoln Park, eventually struck a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty in July to drug possession with intent to distribute within 500 feet of public property, Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Pete Stoma said.

The corrections officer allegedly bought marijuana from an undercover detective and it was believed the pot was to be smuggled into the Hudson County jail in Kearny, officials said. After the arrest, police recovered the marijuana, as well as additional pot in a blue balloon and three glassine envelopes containing heroin, officials said.

Figueroa’s 6-year-old child was with him when he made the drug deal, officials said. As part of the sentence, Figueroa can never again hold public employment.

“He was the bread winner for his family and he really did a remarkably stupid thing,” said Figueroa’s attorney, Dennis McAlevy. “He has forfeited his job and all the perks that go with it. He has dishonored his shield and his job.”

But McAlevy did ask Callahan to be as lenient as he could, saying “I think my client is for the most part a good family person.”

Stoma asked the judge to “send a message to anyone else who might consider doing what Mr. Figueroa did.”

Figueroa was led from the defense table in handcuffs. For his own safety, Callahan ordered that Figueroa be housed some place other than in the Hudson County jail until he is transferred to state prison.

Callahan’s sentence does not include a minimum amount of time Figueroa must serve before becoming eligible for parole.