FBI agents recently took nine people into custody on federal charges of
conspiring to provide contraband to inmates at the Essex County Correctional
Facility, a federal pretrial detention center. Authorities allege that
the nine individuals, including two corrections officers and a former
Essex County prosecutor, took part in an illicit operation in which mobile
phones and drugs were smuggled into the detention center in exchange for
All of the accused individuals face up to five years in prison if convicted
on the contraband charges. They also face up to $350,000 in fines for
marijuana and cellphones.
Authorities allege that one of the accused corrections officers, a 26-year-old
man, smuggled marijuana, tobacco and phones into ECCF on at least five
separate occasions. In exchange for cash, the corrections officer delivered
the contraband to a 29-year-old male inmate, who sold the items to other
inmates, according to authorities.
The approach that the lawyers for these nine people take depends on the
type of evidence with which prosecutors plan to win convictions. For example,
if the evidence involves the testimonies of other inmates, the lawyers
could call into question the truthfulness of the convicts' statements.
This may discredit the evidence and hurt the prosecution's case.
If the evidence consists of the actual marijuana and cellphone contraband,
the lawyers might request that the evidence be present in court. This
is a tactic that some lawyers use to take advantage of evidence that is
mishandled or misplaced while being processed. If the evidence cannot
be found so as to be presented in court, the lawyer may make a motion
to have the charges dismissed due to a lack of evidence.
Source: CBS New York, "9 Accused In Drug Smuggling Ring At Essex County Correctional Facility", May 28, 2014