Senior officer at state youth correctional facility indicted for selling drugs to prisoners
A senior corrections officer at the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility is indicted by a state grand jury Tuesday for allegedly smuggling marijuana and tobacco inside and selling it to prisoners.
24-year old Jaquae Hollingshead of Southampton was indicted on charges of conspiracy, official misconduct and bribery in official matters, all second-degree charges, as well as third-degree charges of distribution of marijuana and money laundering.
He was also suspended from his post stemming from these allegations.
Hollingshead allegedly smuggled the drugs in multiple times into the facility in hopes of turning a profit with prisoners.
According to the State Attorney Generals Office, he was offered bribes of "monetary payments" made by family members or friends of the imprisoned in return for the drugs.
Inmates would allegedly use cell phones to speak with Hollingshead to set up the deals.
If convicted Hollingshead faces second-degree charges which carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Second-degree charges carry a mandatory minimum period of parole ineligibility of five years and third-degree money laundering charge carry an enhanced fine of up to $25,000.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson in Mercer County, who assigned the case to Burlington County, where Hollingshead will be ordered to appear in court at a later date for arraignment on the charges.
“By smuggling contraband to inmates, corrupt correction officers compound the challenges faced by their fellow officers in maintaining security in our state correctional facilities,” said State Attorney General Christopher Porrino. “We allege that Hollingshead betrayed his badge and compromised safety by smuggling contraband, including drugs, into a youth correctional facility.”
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