U.S. Prisons are Hotbeds of Criminal Activity

You would think that American prisons with all the latest technology at their disposal would be reasonably free of criminal activity, especially among the staff, despite the records of those who are confined within. Not so. Here some recent cases that should make you grateful that you are living on the outside and not inside the Big House.

  • Eudy Gonzalez, 24, an inmate at a state prison in Pennsylvania, had 46 months in federal prison time tacked on to his tariff for engineering drug transactions from inside prison walls. Gonzalez, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, admitted that he worked with others to possess and distribute heroin in late 2013 and early 2014. Gonzalez also got three years on supervised release after serving his prison time and was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment. He is also a deportation candidate.
  • Essex County, New Jersey, corrections officer Stephon Solomon confessed to taking cash bribes for his involvement in a plot to smuggle marijuana and cell phones into the pretrial detention facility. Solomon, a 26-year-old from Irvington, New Jersey, saw to it that contraband got into the hands of Quasim Nichols, an Essex County Jail detainee, who then sold some of the goods to other inmates. Solomon faces 20 years behind bars and a possible fine of $250,000. His proceeds from the enterprise earned him $4,000. Nichols and two others also face charges.
  • Correctional officer Jerry St. Fleur, 26, from Tampa. Florida, got four years and three months in federal prison for fraud and identity theft. St. Fleur, who worked at the Zephyrhills Correctional Facility, unlawfully acquired identification data on past and present Florida inmates. He used the information to file false tax returns. He is thought to have requested more than half a million dollars in fraudulent refunds on 182 income tax returns.
  • Almost a dozen prison guards at Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, Maryland, were involved in an assault on an inmate. Several of the officers assaulted an inmate identified as K.D. to punish him for striking an officer. Some of the officers participated in the series of assaults on K.D. and others admitted to destroying evidence related to the case and covering up information.

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