NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors announced charges Tuesday against six New York City correctional officers accused of taking thousands of dollars in bribes to smuggle drugs to inmates at the Rikers Island jail complex.
Fifteen other people, including several inmates, also were charged in criminal complaints unsealed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.
The scheme had been under investigation since early 2019, prosecutors said, and involved guards sneaking a smartphone, marijuana and other drugs into the troubled jail complex.
Investigators said they found a dozen clear plastic bags of marijuana after searching one inmate involved in the conspiracy. They said he also had an iPhone and charger in his laundry bag.
Authorities said they reviewed financial records, conducted surveillance and listened to recorded calls in which the defendants used coded language to talk about the smuggling. In at least one instance, prosecutors said, “Oakland Raider jerseys” was code for marijuana.
“Contraband smuggling enterprises have long plagued city jail facilities,” Margaret Garnett, the commissioner of the city’s Department of Investigation, said in a news release. “The arrests today are another example of a pattern in which inmates and outside conspirators identify correction officers vulnerable to corruption and use them to