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12 Jan 2024, Jail News, by
Ex-MDC officer Quandelle Joseph pleads guilty, confessing to taking bribes for smuggling contraband into the Brooklyn jail.
Quandelle Joseph, a former correction officer at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, acknowledged in Brooklyn Federal Court on Thursday that he had accepted bribes for smuggling contraband into the facility.
In Brooklyn Federal Court, Joseph, 33, pleaded guilty to a bribery charge, admitting his involvement in corrupt activities just a few months after commencing his employment at the Sunset Park jail.
Based on federal sentencing guidelines, Joseph might receive a maximum of three years behind bars, even though the charge carries a potential 15-year sentence.
His illegal activities came under scrutiny in December of the year he started working at the Metropolitan Detention Center (May 2020) when authorities discovered contraband, including a cell phone, in a racketeering suspect’s cell emitting a distinct odor of weed.
Video evidence revealed that Quandelle Joseph had made an unauthorized visit to the inmate’s housing unit, deviating from his assigned unit on lockdown. A criminal complaint pointed out that, as he left, he did not have the bedroll he had initially brought in.
Joseph admitted to accepting bribes between January 1 and November 1, 2021, confessing that during that time, he had accepted and agreed to receive money to bring contraband into MDC Brooklyn, according to his statement to Judge Dora Irizarry.
According to federal prosecutors, Joseph received tens of thousands of dollars in total. However, his defense attorney, Robert LaRusso, indicated a potential dispute regarding the prosecution’s ability to prove the bribe amount and whether Joseph qualifies to be categorized as a public official.
The former correction officer also faced accusations of using a burner phone to warn an inmate about impending searches. In a text message, he advised the message recipients to keep phones clean and erase texts and call logs every night, as stated in the complaint.
The Metropolitan Detention Center has faced recurring criticism for its substandard conditions and insufficient staffing in recent years. Just last week, a federal judge in Manhattan expressed the jail’s conditions as “dreadful” and opted not to send a 70-year-old fentanyl dealer there for sentencing.
The facility has housed high-profile defendants, including Jeffrey Epstein, Bernie Madoff, Ghislaine Maxwell, and R. Kelly.
They have not determined a sentencing date for Quandelle Joseph yet.
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