Correctional officers indicted for allegedly smuggling drugs, phones into Philadelphia prisons

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The U.S. Attorney announced Wednesday the indictments of four current and two former correctional officers for allegedly smuggling drugs and cell phones into city jails. (WPVI)

The U.S. Attorney announced Wednesday the indictments of four current and two former correctional officers for allegedly smuggling drugs and cell phones into city jails including Curren-Fromhold in Northeast Philadelphia.

Alarmed by an increase in contraband, city prison officials asked the feds to investigate.

"After seizing street drugs in our facilities and cell phones, we knew that we needed assistance," Prisons Commissioner Louis Giorla said.

They set up a sting.

Inmates working for the federal government approached the guards and asked them to pick up the drugs, OxyContin, and phones from friends of theirs in exchange for cash, anywhere from $500 to $1,500.

"During the ensuing meetings, the inmates purported associate handed the contraband and cash payment to the defendant and the defendant subsequently smuggled the contraband past prison security and delivered it to an inmate," United States Attorney Zane Memeger said.

All six prison guards are charged with attempted extortion and attempted distribution of controlled substances.

"The Philadelphia prison system will have no place for staff who use their power or their position to engage in criminal acts," Giorla said.

Jack McMahon represents defendant and former prison guard, Marc Thompson, whose mother is a Philadelphia police officer.

"Obviously, it's a serious case and people shouldn't be bringing those types of things into the prison and we are fully aware of that, but we don't have enough information right now to indicate we're going to go as far as defending this case," McMahon said.

Action News is told the drugs were actually just placebos and not real.

Three of the six entered not guilty pleas Wednesday. The three others will return to court for their arraignments next week.

If convicted, sentencing guidelines should put them in prison for three to four years.

Related Topics:
philly newsprisoncellphonedrugsmuggling
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