A Manhattan jailer and a Rikers medical worker were arrested during the past week in separate cases of alleged smuggling.
The New York Times reports:
On Friday, Richard Bustamante Quon, 42, a clinician with Corizon Health Inc., the city contractor that provides medical care at Rikers, was stopped and searched at a security checkpoint, officials said. Investigators reported finding a lotion bottle filled with 10 grams of synthetic marijuana, and two packs of cigarettes.
And last weekend, police officers arrested Patricia Howard, 43, a New York City correction officer for almost 20 years, who prosecutors said was carrying nine grams of cocaine, three ounces of marijuana, four cellphones, tobacco, rolling papers, pliers and a flashlight in a red shopping bag. She intended to smuggle the items to an inmate where she worked, at the Manhattan Detention Complex, officials said.
Howard is a 19-year jail veteran and was distributing the drugs, which also included pills, to inmates in the Tombs who were dealing them, the Post reported.
The busts follow two years of pledges by the city to clean up the jails. In March, Mayor de Blasio called for reforming visitor security protocol, but investigators pointed out at the time that jail employees are responsible for much of the flow of contraband into city jails. Last year, more than a dozen Rikers jailers were arrested for smuggling and drug trafficking. As we reported then, an undercover investigator posing as a corrections officer was able to "carry 250 bags of heroin, 24 strips of suboxone, a half-pound of marijuana, a 16-ounce water bottle full of vodka, and a razor blade through six different employee checkpoints at the jail."