Riker's Island Officers Arraigned for Smuggling Drugs Into Prison
An undercover sting operation in June busted two officers and one former officer smuggling prescription pills into Rikers Island prison.
After a five-month sting operation, city and federal agents have arrested two current and one former New York City correction officers for smuggling prescription drugs onto Riker's Island. The officers were part of an operation that ended in June and were arraigned in State Supreme Court this week.
More information about the sting operation emerged, which involved undercover agents, wiretaps, and fake drugs in order to catch the officers taking "courier fees" to smuggle contraband narcotics into the prison. “By smuggling drugs into a correctional institution, they undermined the security of everyone at Rikers Island — inmates, officers and staff,” said Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s special narcotics prosecutor and one of the case's lead investigators.
Between late February and June, the three now-arrested officers met with who they thought were friends and family of Riker's inmates but were actually undercover law enforcement. The officers and undercover officers came to an agreement to ship fake oxycodone for $500 to $900.
The officers—Steven Dominguez, 26, and Infinite Divine Rahming, 30—have been charged with conspiracy, bribery, and drug possession. The former officer, who resigned months ago for unrelated reasons, faces similar charges.
This is one of many recent scandals to hit Rikers Island. In February, a homeless veteran died after being left in an overheated cell. A few months before, another inmate was discovered dead, naked and covered in his own feces after being left neglected in a cell for several days. The guards have also been known to show brutality towards mentally ill inmates.