Officers charged in contraband smuggling

April 24, 2008 4:38:03 PM PDT
Seven correction officers currently or formerly employed with the New York City Department of Correction have been arrested in connection with a smuggling scheme at Rikers Island. New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn announced the arrests Thursday, saying each officer faces separate indictments charging him with bribe receiving and other offenses related to smuggling contraband into the jail.

The arrests resulted from a series of undercover investigations based on tips from jail employees and inmates.

In those investigations, on 11 occasions, undercover investigators posing as friends or relatives of inmates met and recorded meetings with six of the charged correction officers, each of whom allegedly agreed to deliver contraband, such as marijuana and packages of simulated cocaine and heroin, to inmates in exchange for cash payments ranging from $100 to $1,500.

One other correction officer whose duty was to screen mail coming into inmates allegedly received a bribe in exchange for allowing contraband into the jail. No inmate received any actual controlled substance or retained any marijuana in these operations.

Three of the correction officers have already been dismissed for reasons unrelated to this investigation; the other four officers are expected to be suspended.

"These seven correction officers were supposed to uphold the law, and one was even assigned to screen mail for contraband," Hearn said. "Instead, they are charged with violating their duty and jeopardizing the safety and security of the city's jails. These arrests...demonstrate that correction officers who choose to sacrifice integrity and abuse the authority placed in them will face severe consequences."

Similar undercover investigations were also conducted in 2003 and 2006. Seven city employees, including two correction officers, were arrested in July 2003 on charges they smuggled drugs into the city jails in return for bribes. In 2006, DOI arrested six workers at the city jails, including three correction officers, for smuggling drugs and contraband in exchange for cash.

The names of each suspect and a synopsis of charges is listed below.

DANIEL BETHEL, 43, of Brooklyn, in October 2007, allegedly collected cash from a DOI undercover investigator and in exchange delivered marijuana to an inmate at the Anna M. Kross Center ("AMKC") on Rikers Island. BETHEL is charged with Bribe Receiving in the Third Degree and Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree, both class D felonies; Criminal Sale of Marijuana in the Third Degree, a class E felony; Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fifth Degree, a class B misdemeanor; and Official Misconduct, a class A misdemeanor. If convicted, he faces up to seven years' imprisonment. BETHEL, a correction officer since February 2004, receives an annual salary of approximately $51,100. He faces suspension.

JOSEPH CONSTANTINO, 50, of Mineola, N.Y., a mail room officer at the North Infirmary Command on Rikers Island, in January 2008, allegedly passed money, tobacco and simulated heroin to an inmate in exchange for a cash bribe. CONSTANTINO is charged with Attempted Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and Attempted Criminal Possession of Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, both class C felonies; Bribe Receiving in the Third Degree and Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree, class D felonies; Attempted Promotion of Prison Contraband in the First Degree and Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, both class E felonies; and Promoting Prison Contraband in the Second Degree and Official Misconduct, both class A misdemeanors. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years' imprisonment. CONSTANTINO has been employed with DOC since March 1990 and receives an annual salary of approximately $65,840. He faces suspension.

WILLIAM DELGADO, 42, of Warwick, N.Y., in two meetings, in March and April 2008, allegedly collected two cash payments from a DOI undercover investigator and in exchange delivered marijuana to an inmate in the Robert N. Davoren Center on Rikers Island. DELGADO is charged with Bribe Receiving in the Third Degree and Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree, both class D felonies; Criminal Sale of Marijuana in the Third Degree a class E felony; Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fourth Degree and Official Misconduct, class A misdemeanors. If convicted, he faces up to seven years' imprisonment. DELGADO has been employed with DOC since 1989 and receives an annual salary of approximately $65,841. He faces suspension.

DANIEL MARIN, 27, of the Bronx, in two meetings, in December 2007 and February 2008, allegedly collected cash from a DOI undercover investigator and in exchange delivered marijuana and simulated cocaine to an inmate at AMKC. MARIN is charged with Attempted Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, a class A-II felony; Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class C felony; Bribe Receiving in the Third Degree and Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree, both class D felonies; Attempted Promotion of Prison Contraband in the First Degree and Criminal Sale of Marijuana in the Third Degree, both class E felonies; Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fourth Degree, a class A misdemeanor and Official Misconduct, class A misdemeanors; and Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fifth Degree, a class B misdemeanor. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison. MARIN was employed with DOC from June 2005 to March 2008, at an annual salary of approximately $42,160, when he was terminated for reasons unrelated to this investigation.

ANTHONY NARCISSE, 24, of Manhattan, in two meetings in May 2007, allegedly collected two cash payments from a DOI undercover investigator and in exchange delivered marijuana to an inmate at AMKC. NARCISSE is charged with Bribe Receiving in the Third Degree and Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree, both class D felonies; Criminal Sale of Marijuana in the Third Degree, a class E felony; Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fourth Degree and Official Misconduct, class A misdemeanors and Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fifth Degree, a class B misdemeanor. If convicted, he faces up to seven years' imprisonment. NARCISSE was employed with DOC from June 2006 to December 2007, when his employment, at a salary of approximately $36,120, was terminated for reasons unrelated to this investigation.

TAMAR PEEBLES, 26, of Brooklyn, in January 2008, allegedly collected cash from a DOI undercover investigator and in exchange delivered simulated heroin and marijuana to an inmate at AMKC. In a second meeting in January 2008, PEEBLES allegedly collected cash from the DOI undercover investigator and in exchange delivered simulated cocaine and marijuana to an inmate. PEEBLES is charged with Attempted Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, a class A-II felony; Attempted Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, class C felonies; Bribe Receiving in the Third Degree and Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree, both class D felonies; Criminal Sale of Marijuana in the Third Degree and Attempted Promotion of Prison Contraband in the First Degree, both class E felonies; Official Misconduct and Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fourth Degree, class A misdemeanors; and Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fifth Degree, a class B misdemeanor. If convicted, she faces up to life in prison. PEEBLES has been employed with DOC since June 2006 and receives an annual salary of approximately $37,560. She faces suspension.

ANDREW PLASKETT, 28, of Jamaica, N.Y., in two meetings, in February and March 2007, allegedly collected payments of cash from a DOI undercover investigator and in exchange delivered marijuana to an inmate at the George R. Vierno Center on Rikers Island. PLASKETT is charged with Bribe Receiving in the Third Degree and Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree, both class D felonies; Criminal Sale of Marijuana in the Third Degree a class E felony; Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fourth Degree and Official Misconduct, both class A misdemeanors. If convicted, he faces up to seven years' imprisonment. PLASKETT was employed with DOC from June 2005 until March 2007, when his salary was approximately of $38,250 and his employment was terminated for reasons unrelated to this investigation.


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