A Camden NJ man who worked as a corrections officer at a New Jersey State Prison in Trenton was recently arrested and charged with official misconduct. According to authorities, the suspect was busted trying to smuggle illegal drugs such as heroin into the prison for inmates. Officials with the NJ Department of Corrections and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation into the suspect after receiving word about several inmates who had suffered non-fatal drug overdoses. Medical officials indicated that the inmates overdosed on heroin. Witnesses, including other staff members at the correctional institute and inmates with information about the suspect, reportedly told investigators that the suspect accepted bribes and then smuggled narcotics into the jail. The suspect allegedly smuggled illegal drugs like heroin and marijuana, in addition to prescription painkillers and tobacco. The suspect allegedly got the drugs into the hands of inmates, some of whom later overdosed. The suspect is a 33-year-old resident of Camden, New Jersey. He faces numerous criminal charges, including:
· Official misconduct
· Money laundering
· Conspiracy to distribute drugs
· Conspiracy to use certain electronic communication devices in a correctional facility
The suspect is currently being held on a $50K bail amount, but it is unclear if he is being kept in a separate facility from the one in which he worked. According to the NJ Department of Corrections, the suspect has been employed as a corrections officer at the Trenton correctional facility for the past seven years, with an annual salary of more than $67,000. The suspect has already been suspended from his job, but with pay. Until the criminal charges against the suspect are resolved, he will likely remain on suspension.
Heroin Addiction and Abuse in New Jersey
It is unclear at this time exactly how many inmates at the Trenton NJ jail overdosed on heroin that may have been smuggled into the facility. In the past year, heroin abuse and prescription drug abuse have become major concerns for law enforcement and health experts. Outside of prison, heroin addiction and abuse is a major epidemic that has led to loud calls for drug addiction treatment programs and other strategies for combatting the problem. However, these ambitious strategies often fail to account for the many people sitting in prison cells throughout New Jersey who are suffering from the same drug addiction issues and who are simply not getting the help or treatment they need. For additional information, read the NJ.com article, “N.J. Corrections Officer Charged with Smuggling Heroin After Inmates OD.” If you have been charged with a drug crime in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. The experienced, aggressive criminal defense lawyers at Garber Law will help you fight your criminal charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation about your case.