Former Corrections Officer Convicted Of Smuggling Drugs To Offenders

(Photo courtesy of the NJ Attorney General's Office)

(Photo courtesy of the NJ Attorney General’s Office)

TRENTON – A former state correction officer at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel, the state’s correction facility for sex offenders, was convicted at trial of smuggling heroin and marijuana into the facility, Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced.

Bobby Singletary, 55, of Paterson, was found guilty at trial yesterday afternoon by a Hudson County jury of conspiring with others between August 2007 and October 2010 to acquire heroin and high-grade marijuana which he smuggled to residents inside the correction facility in Avenel. Singletary had the residents pay for the drugs by wiring money to co-conspirators outside the prison.

Following a trial before Superior Court Judge Mitzy Galis-Menendez, Singletary was convicted of all counts against him in a Jan. 3 indictment, which also charged six other defendants. He was convicted of conspiracy, official misconduct and bribery, all in the second-degree. An inmate who was tried with him on charges of conspiracy, bribery and money laundering, Sharod Hardgrove, 37, was acquitted of all charges. The other five defendants previously pleaded guilty to various charges and testified against Singletary at trial. The indictment stemmed from a joint investigation by the Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division and the Division of Criminal Justice.

Deputy Attorney General Cassandra Serentino and Deputy Attorney General Erik Daab tried the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. Singletary and the defendants who pleaded guilty are scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 8. Singletary faces five to 10 years in state prison on the second-degree charges, including a mandatory period of parole ineligibility of five years.

“This correction officer had a sworn duty to protect the public by upholding the law and maintaining a secure environment within the Avenel facility,” said Hoffman. “By engaging in drug trafficking and smuggling narcotics to inmates, he betrayed the public and compromised the safety of his fellow correction officers.”

“This former correction officer will have a long time to adjust to life on the other side of the cell bars,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will continue to work with the Department of Corrections to uncover and aggressively prosecute these prison smuggling schemes.”

“On behalf of the hard-working, honest staff at the New Jersey Department of Corrections, I would like to thank the Attorney General’s Office and the Division of Criminal Justice for understanding the importance of, and assisting in the investigation and prosecution of official misconduct and corruption,” said Commissioner Gary M. Lanigan of the Department of Corrections.

Senior Investigator Samuel Wise led the investigation for the Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division with assistance from Principal Investigator Trinidad Pena and Senior Investigators Shawn Harrison, Terrence Smith, Kevin Koch and Caprice Caldwell. Detective Scott Caponi and Deputy Attorneys General Serentino and Daab investigated the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.

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