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Corrections officer among three Queens residents indicted in jail drug smuggling case

File photo/QNS

A corrections officer from Queens worked with a colleague and five other individuals to smuggle drugs into city jails, prosecutors announced on Thursday.

Federal prosecutors said that Corrections Officer Christian Mizell, 48, of Queens and Carl Noel, 32, of Manhattan allegedly accepted thousands of dollars in bribes from other participants in the ring — including two incarcerated felons —to look the other way as marijuana and other narcotics were smuggled into prisons.

Mizell and Noel were indicted this week along with the two felons — Warren Green, 40, of Pine City, NY and Patrick Johnson, 27, of the Bronx — and three other alleged participants in the ring: Robert Martino, 37, of Queens; Asha Patterson, 43, of Queens and Malik Holloway, 22, of the Bronx.

“The honesty and integrity of correction officers is critical to the orderly running of a prison,” U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a Feb. 8 statement. “When the defendant correction officers betrayed the trust placed in them by the City of New York, they not only committed serious crimes but also potentially jeopardized the safety of staff and inmates.”

According to the indictment, Mizell and Martino allegedly met in Queens on May 23, 2017 and struck a deal in which Martino provided Mizell with an unspecified contraband to be brought into the Manhattan Detention Center, as well as cash for doing the deed.

The following day, prosecutors said, Mizell allegedly met with Green and Johnson at the Manhattan Detention Center, then left the contraband inside a prison bathroom; Johnson subsequently retrieved the narcotics.

Two months later, on July 27, Mizell allegedly met Martino again in Queens; during this meeting, Martino allegedly provided Mizell with cash and a contraband that Noel was to deliver into the Manhattan Detention Center. Federal agents said that Noel had allegedly been making similar drops in concert with his contact in the Bronx, Holloway.

“This investigation demonstrates again a pattern of misconduct in our city’s jails: outside civilians working with Corrections officers and DOC employees to smuggle narcotics and other contraband to inmates on the inside,” Department of Investigation (DOI) Commissioner Mark Peters said. “DOI and its partners, including the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, have been cracking down on these illegal operations to stem the flow of contraband, while also working towards critical reforms in DOC’s front-gate screening protocols to shore up security at these facilities.”

The indictments were announced on the same day that the DOI cited the Manhattan Detention Center as one of two city correctional facilities having significant security flaws. An undercover investigator was reportedly able to smuggle in drugs and weapons unnoticed by various security checkpoints and metal detectors. (The Brooklyn Detection Center was the other city prison investigated in the DOI probe).

All seven indicted suspects face up to five years behind bars if convicted on the federal charges, Donoghue said.

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