6 Rikers guards charged with smuggling drugs into jail

1010 WINS Newsroom
January 14, 2020 - 2:28 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Six prison guards have been charged with taking thousands of dollars in bribe money to smuggle drugs into Rikers Island.

The correctional officers are part of a larger criminal complaint involving fifteen other people. The investigation into the bribery began in early 2019 and involved reviewing financial records and monitoring phone calls.

Prosecutors in the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn said that the guards snuck a smartphone as well as marijuana and other drugs into the jail and used coded language to discuss the activities, referring to marijuana as "Oakland Raider jerseys."

The guards charged are Darrington James, Patrick Legerme, Aldrin Livingston, Michael Murray, Angel Rodriguez, and Christopher Walker.

A dozen of the defendants were expected in federal court on Tuesday, while three of the defendants remain at large.

"Contraband smuggling enterprises have long plagued city jail facilities," Margaret Garnett, the commissioner of the city’s Department of Investigation, said in a statement. "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 carry drugs and other illegal substances into the jails."

Another guard was charged with smuggling drugs into the jail in February.

In October, the New York City Council voted to close Rikers Island by 2026 and replace the jail with four smaller jails in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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