Ex-Brooklyn prison guard charged with smuggling drugs, alcohol

He left weed in restroom for inmates, staff got there first

August 2, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Jeremy Monk, a former federal correction officer employed by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP), was charged Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court with smuggling contraband to prison inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Sunset Park. 

Monk was arrested Tuesday morning, and his initial appearance took place before U.S. Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon, Eastern District of New York (EDNY). According to prosecutors, Monk worked as a correctional officer at the MDC from May 2020 until he resigned on April 18, 2022. 

Three days before he resigned, on April 15, 2022, MDC staff learned that Monk was allegedly supposed to be paid $10,000 by inmates to smuggle contraband, specifically drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, into the MDC and leave it in a staff restroom. 

That afternoon, Monk went to the staff restroom. After Monk left the restroom, MDC staff secured and searched the location and found more than nine ounces of marijuana hidden on a shelf under cleaning materials, according to the complaint. 

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Before reporting to work on April 18, 2022, Monk called the MDC’s Human Resources Department and stated that he wanted to immediately resign. When asked why he was resigning, the defendant stated, in sum and substance, because of “some stupid investigation.” 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon. Photo: Rob Abruzzese/Brooklyn Eagle

Monk had also smuggled contraband into the MDC on prior occasions, prosecutors charge. On Dec. 5, 2020, the MDC staff members conducted a search of the cell of a prisoner (Inmate-1) due to the odor of marijuana coming from his cell. 

Although no marijuana was found, the MDC staff recovered a cellphone, which is also contraband in a correctional facility. Financial records show that three days before the MDC staff recovered the cellphone, an associate of Inmate-1 attempted to pay Monk for smuggling the contraband via Cash App seven times in amounts ranging from $750 to $4,000. All seven transactions were blocked by Cash App. 

Breon Peace, United States attorney for the EDNY; Ryan T. Geach, special agent-in-charge, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General (DOJ-OIG); and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, FBI, New York Field Office, announced the charges. 

Eastern District of New York U.S. Attorney Breon Peace speaks at a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Wednesday, March 16, 2022. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

“As alleged, the defendant violated his oath and duty as a correctional officer by smuggling narcotics into the Metropolitan Detention Center,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “This office, together with our law enforcement partners, are committed to maintaining the safety for incarcerated individuals and BOP employees, and will prosecute those who act as conduits for contraband into a correctional facility.” 

“As alleged, Mr. Monk put both his fellow corrections officers and the Metropolitan Detention Center’s inmate population at risk by engaging in a scheme to smuggle contraband, including illegal drugs, into the facility. As law enforcement officials, we all take an oath to uphold the law and protect our nation. Mr. Monk chose to violate that oath, and he will now face justice for the crimes we allege he committed,” said FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Driscoll. 

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Public Integrity Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Olatokunbo Olaniyan and Philip Pilmar are in charge of the prosecution.

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