$500 to $800 Bribe for an Ounce of Marijuana
NEW YORK– Apparently the one place you can get arrested for possessing pot in NYC is in Rikers Island. A prison guard and three inmates found that out the hard way as they have been charged with smuggling weed into the prison.
Prosecutors said the corrections officer received $500 to $800 in cash for smuggling an ounce of marijuana into the prison.
Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said, “This officer allegedly betrayed his fellow officers, as well as fostered the criminal network inside and outside of Rikers Island that runs on contraband.
“Smuggling marijuana or any other item that fuels corruption and violence in jail is a serious crime, no matter who does it. We will continue to work with DOI, DOC, the NYPD and other law enforcement partners to improve safety in the jails,” Clark said.
Commissioner Peters said, “Contraband smuggling remains one of DOI’s highest priorities towards the goal of eliminating violence and corruption from DOC jail facilities across the City.
“This ring of inmates, outside co-conspirators and a Correction Officer on the take made it possible for illegal contraband to infiltrate Rikers Island, further adding to the destabilizing forces at work that lead to disorder and corruption, according to the charges. DOI thanks its partners at the Bronx District Attorney’s Office for their assistance and prosecution of these cases,” Peters said.
Correction Officer Pedro Santiago, 26, was charged with third-degree Bribe Receiving, second-degree Promoting Prison Contraband, Official Misconduct, fifth-degree Criminal Possession of Marijuana, unlawful Possession of Marijuana and fifth and sixth-degree Conspiracy.
He is due back in court on December 6, 2018.
The other defendants were arraigned earlier this month, and they are charged with third-degree Bribery, second-degree Promoting Prison Contraband, and fifth and sixth-degree Conspiracy.
The defendants are identified as former inmates Joshua Rodriguez, 27, of Brooklyn; Kelvin Dalrymple, 26, of Queens and Ricardo Brown, 29, of Queens; and Andrew Rivera, 25, of Brooklyn; and Meisha Nelson, 27, of Mount Vernon, NY.
According to the investigation, Santiago allegedly accepted between $500 and $800 in exchange for bringing an ounce or more of marijuana into the Anna M. Kross Center on each of three occasions in June and July 2017.
The inmate defendants allegedly had instructed defendants Rivera and Nelson to deliver cash and marijuana to Santiago. He then brought the marijuana into the facility.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.