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Press Release

Correctional Officer Arrested For Taking Bribes To Smuggle Contraband Into The Metropolitan Correctional Center

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York
Correctional Officer Victor Casado Took Bribes from a Federal Inmate in His Custody in Exchange for Smuggling Contraband into the Jail

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Ronald G. Gardella, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (“DOJ OIG”), announced today the unsealing of a criminal Complaint in Manhattan federal court charging federal correctional officer VICTOR CASADO with taking bribes in exchange for smuggling contraband into the Metropolitan Correctional Center (“MCC”), a Manhattan detention facility that houses federal inmates.  CASADO was arrested this morning and will be presented today before Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, correctional officer Victor Casado had a duty to ensure the safety and security of the Metropolitan Correctional Center and federal inmates in his care.  Instead he allegedly abused the trust placed in him by taking bribes to smuggle contraband to federal inmates.  Casado now transitions from Justice Department employee to defendant.”  

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “As alleged, Casado served as a gateway for the introduction of contraband into a federal prison. Not only did his actions violate federal laws and prison protocol, but they posed additional risks for other prison guards who would be responsible for removing these items if found and disciplining those who were in possession. Casado’s alleged crime is a serious offense that will be me with just scrutiny.”

DOJ OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Ronald G. Gardella said:  “The DOJ OIG takes allegations of contraband smuggling into our federal prison system very seriously.  We will continue to vigorously investigate such allegations and work with our law enforcement partners to identify and bring to justice any Justice Department employee involved in a smuggling scheme.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[[1]]:

CASADO has been employed as a correctional officer at the MCC since 2012.

On multiple occasions in 2016 and 2017, CASADO smuggled cellphones, alcohol, over-the-counter medications, and food into the MCC in exchange for bribe payments.  These bribes were funneled to CASADO by non-incarcerated relatives or associates of the inmates, either in cash or by wire transfer.  For example, on multiple occasions, CASADO received bribes from an inmate (“Inmate-1”), transferred by one of Inmate-1’s attorneys, totaling more than $45,000 in exchange for smuggling alcohol and cellphones, among other contraband, into the MCC for Inmate-1.  Additionally, CASADO also requested and received thousands of dollars in payments from another inmate (“Inmate-5”), which were delivered to CASADO by Inmate-5’s relatives and a paralegal who worked for him.  Inmate-5 paid CASADO at CASADO’s insistence, ostensibly to fund travel by CASADO to the Dominican Republic.           

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CASADO, 35, of the Bronx, New York, has been charged in the Complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and to introduce contraband into prison, which carries a maximum prison term of five years; one count of bribery, which carries a maximum prison term of 15 years; one count of introducing contraband into prison, which carries a maximum prison term of one year; one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years; and one count of honest services wire fraud, which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.  The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. 

Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the FBI and the DOJ Office of the Inspector General in this investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica Lonergan and Nicolas Roos are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Updated April 5, 2018

Press Release Number: 18-108