Rikers Island guards charged with taking hundreds of {dollars} in bribes to smuggle in medication

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Six New York Metropolis correctional officers and 15 others had been charged with taking hundreds of {dollars} in bribes to smuggle medication to inmates at Rikers Island jail complicated, the Justice Division introduced Tuesday.

An investigation started in early 2019 by the FBI and the NYC Division of Investigation revealed how corrections officers and others allegedly smuggled in narcotics similar to marijuana and K2  (an artificial cannabinoid), together with an unauthorized smartphone.

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In complete, 21 had been charged — six correctional officers, 5 inmates and 7 different people. Three others are nonetheless being sought. All 21 are charged with conspiring to bribe corrections officers.

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Investigators stated they discovered a dozen clear plastic baggage of marijuana after looking out one inmate concerned within the scandal.

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“Contraband smuggling enterprises have lengthy plagued Metropolis jail amenities. The arrests right this moment are one other instance of a sample by which inmates and outdoors conspirators establish correction officers susceptible to corruption, and use them to hold medication and different unlawful substances into the jails,” said DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett.

As a part of the investigation, legislation enforcement officers performed surveillance and listened to recorded calls by which defendants used coded language to speak concerning the medication. For instance, “Oakland Raider jerseys” was code for marijuana, in keeping with one prosecutor.

“I’m trying to get, um four ‘Oakland Raider jerseys’ [code for marijuana].  “…’Got Pink Panties’ [code for correctional officer] on the line right now, you heard? “ one inmate said to a co-conspirator in a recorded phone conversation. “Gangsta. You just gotta make it to the ‘Jungle’ [code for Brooklyn] to drop it off to them and, more or less, we lit from there.”

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The corrections officers and others had been anticipated to seem in court docket Tuesday afternoon.

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In October, New York Metropolis lawmakers voted to shut Rikers Island, one of many world’s largest jails. By 2026 the complicated shall be closed and changed with 4 smaller jails all through the town. The brand new amenities are supposed to be extra fashionable and humane and nearer to the town’s courthouses.

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