Brooklyn Federal Correctional Officer Charged with Bribery
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Allegedly Accepted Tens of Thousands of Dollars to Smuggle Contraband into Metropolitan Detention Center
A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Quandelle Joseph, a correctional officer currently employed by the United States Bureau of Prisons (BOP), with receiving bribes in exchange for providing contraband to prison inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn. Joseph was arrested this morning in Brooklyn, and his initial appearance was this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge James R. Cho and he was released on $50,000 bond pending trial.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Ryan T. Geach, Special Agent-in-Charge, United States Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General, New York Field Office (DOJ-OIG), and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the arrest and charges.
“As alleged, the defendant violated his duty as a correction officer and accepted tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to smuggle contraband into the Metropolitan Detention Center,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “By accepting bribes, the defendant violated the public’s trust and promoted conditions that risked the safety of the officers and inmates in the MDC. This Office will continue rooting out corruption at our federal and local jails, and holding corrupt public officials accountable.”
“As alleged, Joseph’s corrupt actions of accepting bribes to smuggle contraband into MDC Brooklyn endangered his fellow correctional officers, inmates, and the public. The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General is committed to rooting out these kinds of dangerous schemes,” stated DOJ-OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Geach.
“We allege the defendant participated in a scheme to smuggle contraband into a federal prison in exchange for money, breaking not only his oath of duty but also the law. The defendant’s actions put both the inmates of MDC and his fellow correctional officers at risk. The FBI will continue to ensure corrupt individuals abusing the authority given to them by the public are held responsible in the criminal justice system,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll.
As alleged in the complaint, Joseph became a correctional officer at the MDC in May 2020. During his employment, Joseph accepted tens of thousands of dollars from at least two different inmates to smuggle narcotics, cigarettes, and cell phones into the MDC. In one instance, Joseph entered a unit he was not guarding during a lockdown, opened an inmate’s cell and provided him with contraband. A few hours later, MDC staff smelled marijuana in that inmate’s cell and recovered a contraband cell phone from the cell during a search; the inmate had flushed the marijuana down the toilet prior to the search. In June 2020, Joseph texted the inmate’s contact outside the facility that the inmate owed him $12,000. Joseph also used a “burner” telephone to communicate with another inmate about the bribery scheme and warn him about upcoming contraband searches. For example, on January 26, 2021, Joseph texted an inmate from whom he was receiving bribes, “[t]ighten up search comin clean phones out call logs n text n try to stash it.” The next day, Joseph texted the inmate, “keep your phones cleannnnnnnnnn erase texts and call logs every night.”
The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Joseph faces a maximum sentence of fifteen years’ imprisonment.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Public Integrity Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Philip Pilmar and Marietou Diouf are in charge of the prosecution.
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 23-MJ-359
Danielle Blustein Hass
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Updated April 18, 2023U.S. Department of Justice Press Release
Categories: Anti-Corruption Bribery Department of Justice (DOJ) Updates Enforcement Actions Indictments and Arrests
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