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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

Thursday, February 8, 2018

New York City Correction Officers Charged with Smuggling Narcotics into City Prison Facilities

A six-count indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging seven defendants with conspiring to bribe correction officers employed by the New York City Department of Corrections (“DOC”) as part of a narcotics smuggling conspiracy.  The defendants’ arraignment is scheduled for this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge James Orenstein.    

As alleged in the indictment, the defendants conspired to smuggle marijuana and other contraband into DOC prison facilities with the assistance of New York City Department of Correction Officers Christian Mizell and Carl Noel.  Defendants Warren Green and Patrick Johnson, both incarcerated on unrelated felony offenses, arranged for marijuana and other contraband to be packaged and delivered covertly to the correction officers by defendants Robert Martino, Malik Holloway and Asha Patterson.  The Correction Officers received thousands of dollars in bribes to smuggle the contraband past DOC security for eventual distribution inside the prison. 

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division (DEA), Mark G. Peters, Commissioner, New York City Department of Investigation (DOI), James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), and George P. Beach, Superintendent, New York State Police, announced the charges. 

“The honesty and integrity of correction officers is critical to the orderly running of a prison,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “When the defendant correction officers betrayed the trust placed in them by the City of New York, they not only committed serious crimes but also potentially jeopardized the safety of staff and inmates.  This Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to identifying and prosecuting corrupt correction officers who accept bribes to smuggle contraband into prison facilities.”   

“Drug traffickers are notorious for their smuggling methods, but this case demonstrated the defendants’ ability to bypass security altogether,” stated DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Hunt.  “With two correction officers as members of the organization, the defendants allegedly pushed contraband into prison for resale to inmates.  Today’s arrests are a result of law enforcement partnerships and hard work.”

“This investigation demonstrates again a pattern of misconduct in our City’s jails: outside civilians working with Correction Officers and DOC employees to smuggle narcotics and other contraband to inmates on the inside,” stated DOI Commissioner Peters.  “DOI and its partners, including the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, have been cracking down on these illegal operations to stem the flow of contraband, while also working towards critical reforms in DOC’s front-gate screening protocols to shore up security at these facilities.” 

“Due to the hard work and cooperation between law enforcement partners at all levels, this smuggling conspiracy was uncovered and shut down,” stated NYSP Superintendent Beach.  “This sends a strong message that we will not tolerate such crimes, especially when they are perpetuated by individuals in a place of authority who have been entrusted with upholding the law. Such criminals will be prosecuted to the fullest.”

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.    

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erik Paulsen of the Office’s Public Integrity Section and Nomi Berenson of the Office’s International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section.

The Defendants:

Christian MIzell
Age: 48
Queens, New York

Age: 32
New York, New York

Age: 40
Pine City, New York

Age: 27
Bronx, New York

Age: 37
Queens, New York

Age: 22
Bronx, New York

Age: 43
Queens, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-60 (PKC)

Public Corruption
John Marzulli Tyler Daniels United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated February 8, 2018