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Press Release

Former New Jersey Corrections Officer Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison For Extortion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

CAMDEN, N.J. – Jermel Brown, a former senior corrections officer with the N.J. Department of Corrections (NJDOC) was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for using his official position to smuggle contraband to a prisoner in the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility in Yardville, N.J., (Yardville Prison) in exchange for $12,000, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Brown, 35, of Camden, N.J., previously pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez to an Information charging him with conspiracy to extort a cooperating witness who was incarcerated at Yardville Prison and who was identified in court filings as “CW1.” Judge Rodriguez imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Brown agreed to use his position as a senior corrections officer to smuggle items, including mobile telephones and music players, into Yardville Prison for delivery to a prisoner – CW1 – in exchange for cash payments. Between July 2010 and July 2011, Brown and his co-conspirators, Kenneth Richards and Maurice Brown-Harden, conducted three transactions in which another cooperating witness outside the prison provided Richards and Brown-Harden with two mobile telephones and two portable music players and three cash payments of $4,000, $4,500, and $3,500 each. Brown then used his official position at the prison to deliver the mobile telephones and music players to the prisoner inside the facility.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Rodriguez sentenced Brown to three years of supervised release, 500 hours of community service and fined him $1,000. Richards and Brown-Harden previously pleaded guilty before Judge Rodriguez and both were sentenced in 2012 to 18 months’ imprisonment.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez, for the investigation leading to today’s sentence. He also thanked the N.J. Department of Corrections, Special Investigation Division, for its cooperation and assistance throughout the investigation.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee M. Cortes Jr. of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division.


Defense counsel: Joseph M. Marrone Esq., Philadelphia, PA

Updated March 18, 2015