Mass. prison officer facing RI marijuana charges

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Massachusetts prison officer is facing drug charges after Rhode Island police say he had four pounds of marijuana mailed to his Providence home.

State police arrested 40-year-old Darrell Williams on Thursday after postal inspectors became suspicious of a package addressed to Williams and sent from Texas.

State police Capt. David Neill said police had the package delivered to Williams’ house, where he allegedly signed for it

Neill said Williams has been an officer at a minimum-security prison in Norfolk, Mass., for six months.

Williams did not enter a plea at arraignment Thursday on charges of marijuana possession with intent to distribute and of having a gun when police searched his house.

He’s being held pending a bail hearing on April 23. No attorney information or phone numbers were listed for Williams


Mass. jail guard arrested on drug charges

DARTMOUTH, Mass.—A Bristol County correctional officer has been arrested on drug charges for allegedly bringing contraband into the Dartmouth House of Correction.

Authorities say 20-year-old Marco Moniz of Fall River was arrested while on duty Tuesday and charged with conspiracy to violate drug laws and delivering contraband to a penal institution.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

A sheriff’s office spokesman could not be more specific on what was brought into the jail.

Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said in as statement that he was “deeply saddened” that a sworn officer “violated the badge he wears and the trust it implies.” But Hodgson praised those who conducted the investigation


Prison Nurse Accused Of Trying To Help Rapist Escape

A prison nurse has been arrested and charged with smuggling items to a convicted rapist who stabbed his lawyer in court last year.

 Deborah Girouard, a...

Prosecutors allege that 44-year-old Deborah Girouard smuggled items to Che Sosa in an alleged plot to help him escape MCI-Cedar Junction prison in Walpole.

The charges allege Girouard slipped Sosa saw blades and other items. Sosa has not been charged in the alleged escape plot.

His lawyer was treated for injuries to his face and chest from the courtroom stabbing. 

Last March, Sosa was convicted of the 1995 rape of a 50-year-old Boston woman. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison, which is in addition to a 55-year sentence he was already serving for a previous rape.

It’s unclear when Girouard is accused of smuggling the items to Sosa. She has been charged with delivering an article to an inmate and aiding the escape of a prisoner, which are both felony charges. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.



A 44-year-old nurse and mother of five was ordered held without bail yesterday after she pleaded not guilty to charges of taking part in an elaborate scheme to help one of the state’s most dangerous inmates escape from prison.

Deborah Girouard of Ashby allegedly told security at MCI-Cedar Junction that she had given inmate Che Sosa an eyeglass case containing three saw blades, a handcuff key and dental floss said to be capable of cutting through the Plexiglass in his cell, according to court records and prosecutors.

In her locker, authorities also found a correction officer’s uniform and badge, a wig, fake fingernails and nail polish – props to be used in Sosa’s planned break-out tomorrow from the maximum-security prison, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Rowe said in Wrentham District Court.

Girouard, a University of Massachusetts Correctional Health nurse on contract at the prison since October 2007, had also given Sosa a pair of her underwear and a cell phone she would charge for him so the two could talk, Rowe said.

“It was clear there was a relationship that had been established,” the prosecutor said. “The extent of that relationship is not known.”

Girouard also bought a knife for Sosa, but when he asked her to smuggle in a gun, she refused, and he threatened her and her family, prompting her to come forward, Rowe said.

Defense attorney Thomas Iovieno said Girouard disputes the charges and came forward voluntarily.

Sosa, 39, is serving 40 to 55 years for nine counts of aggravated rape and is awaiting trial for allegedly stabbing his former defense attorney.

Judge Warren Powers ordered Girouard held without bail, pending a Dec. 17 hearing. If convicted of delivering an article to an inmate and aiding the escape of a prisoner, she could find herself behind bars for up to 15 years.

Mark Shelton, a UMass Correctional Health spokesman, said Girouard has worked for the program since 2005 and is on unpaid leave, pending the case’s outcome.


Correction Officer Charged With Boston Inmate Rape

A 17-year veteran of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he raped a female inmate at a Boston jail.
Lt. Thomas Healy, a corrections officer at the Suffolk County House of Correction, turned himself in Tuesday morning. Prosecutors said Healy groped and raped the woman in her cell on Nov. 12.

Healy, 41, of Quincy, was charged with rape, indecent assault and battery and having sexual relations with a prisoner as a jail guard.

He was released on $1,500 cash bail following his arraignment in Roxbury District Court. He cannot have contact with the alleged victim and must surrender his guns.

Healy’s attorney, Stephen Pfaff, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral said Healy was suspended without pay Friday after an internal investigation.

Healy has the right to an internal hearing on alleged violations of department policies, she said. After that hearing, a decision will be made on disciplinary action, and Healy could be fired, Cabral said.

“The allegations and supporting evidence uncovered by this investigation and detailed at Lt. Healy’s arraignment today are egregious,” Cabral said in a statement.


Mass. prison employee charged with stealing funds

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts Department of Correction employee has been charged with stealing more than $100,000 in state money to purchase semiautomatic firearms and other law enforcement equipment for personal use.

State Department of Correction lieutenant Gary Mendes was arrested yesterday and arraigned on charges of stealing $100,000 worth of firearms, ammunition and specialized equipment from the department.

 Gary Mendes, a lieutenant in the department’s special operations, pleaded not guilty to larceny and fraud charges on Wednesday in Greenfield District Court. He was released on personal recognizance.

Attorney General Martha Coakley said the 48-year-old Berkley resident was arrested at his home Wednesday morning.

Coakley said Mendes ordered more items than needed from vendors and use vendor credit to purchase other equipment.

Coakley said he also purchased firearms for other employees, but she didn’t believe any other workers broke laws.

Mendes has been suspended with pay from his $75,000-a-year job.

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Correctional officer charged with pulling handgun on Dartmouth man

NEW BEDFORD — A state correctional officer was held in jail overnight to face a dangerousness hearing today on charges he pulled a gun on a man he believed was having a relationship with his estranged wife.

Joseph Williams, 37, of 558 Faunce Corner Road, Dartmouth, was arrested Wednesday night after police received a 911 call from the Pinnacle Health and Fitness parking lot in Dartmouth.

A man told police Mr. Williams pointed a handgun at him while they were arguing in the parking lot. The man said the defendant told him to “stay away from my wife or I’ll kill you,” court records said.

Mr. Williams told police he brandished his gun because the man kept walking up to him. Police seized a 9 mm Smith and Wesson handgun from the defendant’s home, court records said.

Mr. Williams was arraigned Thursday in New Bedford District Court on charges that include assault with a dangerous weapon, threats to commit murder, and carrying a firearm without a license.

According to court records, Mr. Williams is a state correctional officer. It was not immediately available which prison he has been stationed at or what his current employment status is.


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.