Corrections Officer Accused Of Attempting To Bring Drugs Into Prison

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Corrections Officer Accused Of Attempting To Bring Drugs Into Prison

By Beth Leipholtz 11/07/18

Officers believe the man intended to distribute drugs found in his car to inmates in the jail.

Image: 
Man under arrest being escorted by two police officers

A Camden, New Jersey corrections officer has been suspended and charged after allegedly attempting to bring drugs into a facility with the intention to sell them to inmates. 

According to NJ.com, Christopher Bowie, 47, was caught with 21 Suboxone strips, four pills suspected to be oxycodone and six pills suspected to be Xanax. The substances were found on him as well as in his vehicle, court documents and a press release from the Camden County Prosecutor's Office states. 

According to that release, officers believe Bowie intended to distribute the drugs in the jail, though it did not cite why this was believed to be the case. 

Bowie was immediately suspended and the Camden County Corrections Internal Affairs unit and the Prosecutor's Office Special Prosecutions Unit are investigating. Bowie is facing charges of distributing a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and official misconduct, according to the prosecutor's office. 

New Jersey isn’t the only state confronting such actions from corrections officers. 

On Monday, Nov. 5, an Arizona detention officer was arrested on suspicious of bringing heroin and other contraband into the Mohave County Adult Detention facility, according to AZ Central

A Facebook post from the Mohave County Sheriff's Office states that Ashley Desiree Aquino, 24, was questioned after law enforcement officials received a tip about the smuggling. Though the heroin was disposed of before Arquino was searched, other contraband was found and she admitted to bringing it into the facility. 

“I hold all of my personnel accountable to their Oath of Office and will ensure that every measure is taken to fully prosecute Aquino for her actions," Sheriff Doug Schuster said, according to AZ Central.

In October, a previous Georgia Department of Corrections pleaded guilty after being paid by an inmate to bring meth and marijuana into a prison in North Georgia, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tiffany Cook, 34, was caught with more than 118 grams of methamphetamine and 150 grams of marijuana in July of 2018, after police received a tip she had been smuggling such substances into the prison.

In 2015, CNN reported in-depth on the issue, even speaking with one former guard who had fallen into smuggling for inmates. Gary Heyward worked at New York's Rikers Island and was facing financial struggles when an inmate approached him about bringing cigarettes in. In speaking with CNN, Heyward reflected back on his prison guard training instructor.

"He said, 'Look to your left. Now look to your right. One of you is going to smuggle something in, some inmate is going to talk you into doing bad,'" Heyward told CNN. "I thought, 'Oh, no, not me.' But, you know, you never think it's going to be you."

While in prison for two years, Heyward wrote a self-published memoir called Corruption Officer: From Jail Guard to Perpetrator Inside Rikers Island.

"A lot of people will look at what's going on in New York...and wonder why," Heyward said. "People do what they do for different reasons. It's just people being human, letting that thing that's most weak in them get the better of them."

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Beth is a Minnesota girl who got sober at age 20. By day she is a website designer, and in her spare time she enjoys writing about recovery at www.lifetobecontinued.com, doing graphic design and spending time with her boyfriend and three dogs. Find Beth on LinkedInInstagram and Twitter.

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