New Jersey Corrections Officer Admits to Taking Bribes - NBC New York

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New Jersey Corrections Officer Admits to Taking Bribes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    New Jersey Corrections Officer Admits to Taking Bribes

    What to Know

    • A former New Jersey corrections officer had admitted to smuggling drugs to a state prison inmate in exchange for bribe money

    • Officials say 30-year-old Roberto Reyes-Jackson, of Irvington, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit official misconduct

    • NJ.com reports Reyes-Jackson worked at the Northern State Prison in Newark and smuggled wax folds of fentanyl and cannabis to an inmate

    A former New Jersey corrections officer had admitted to smuggling drugs to a state prison inmate in exchange for bribe money.

    Officials say 30-year-old Roberto Reyes-Jackson, of Irvington, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit official misconduct.

    NJ.com reports Reyes-Jackson worked at the Northern State Prison in Newark and smuggled wax folds of fentanyl and cannabis to inmate Aaron Copeland.

    Authorities say Copeland's girlfriend, Tyeesha Powell, paid Reyes-Jackson several hundred dollars in bribes and Copeland would then sell the drugs to other inmates.

    AP Photo/Richard Drew

    Court records indicate that under his plea agreement, Reyes-Jackson faces four years in state prison and will be permanently barred from public employment.

    Copeland, 31, of Newark, pleaded guilty previously to a charge of distribution of fentanyl and faces a recommended sentence of three years in prison, including one year of parole ineligibility, to run consecutive to the sentence he is currently serving, according to the state's attorney general. Powell, 34, of Pleasantville, pleaded guilty previously to distribution of fentanyl and faces a recommended sentence of probation, officials say. Both are awaiting sentencing.

    "When a correction officer conspires with an inmate to break the law, it poses a grave threat to safety and security in the prison, particularly when a dangerous drug like fentanyl is involved,” Office of Public Integrity and Accountability Director Thomas Eicher said in a statement.

    New Jersey Department of Corrections Acting Commissioner Marcus O. Hicks shared similar sentiments. 

    “We have an uncompromising commitment to ensuring safety in our facilities and a zero-tolerance policy for anyone who violates that safety,” Hicks said in a statement, adding that “the overwhelming majority of the New Jersey Department of Corrections staff operate with integrity. Those who do not must be held accountable for their actions.”

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