Inmate and Wife Charged with Bribery, Promoting Contraband
Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a former New York City Department of Correction Officer, an inmate and the inmate’s wife have been indicted on charges they brought marijuana, alcohol and tobacco into a Rikers Island jail.
District Attorney Clark said, “Contraband fuels beatings and slashings in jail because it is so lucrative. This defendant allegedly took bribes to bring in forbidden items after only 10 months on the job. He was betraying his fellow officers and endangering staff and inmates by adding to the violent atmosphere in the facility. We will not tolerate employees, inmates or visitors bringing in contraband.”
District Attorney Clark said that James Brown, 45, of Queens, who became a Correction Officer in January, 2016, was arraigned today before Bronx Supreme Court Justice William Mogulescu. Bail was continued at $50,000. He is due back in court on April 17. Dene Morris was previously arraigned, and Shane Morris, 31, is due to be arraigned at a later date.
Brown was charged with third-degree Bribe Receiving and Official Misconduct, Shane and Dene Morris were charged with third-degree Bribery and second-degree Rewarding Official Misconduct, and all three defendants were charged with fifth-degree Conspiracy, second-degree Promoting Prison Contraband, and fourth and fifth-degree Criminal Possession of Marijuana. They face a maximum of seven years in prison if convicted.
According to the investigation, between November 2, 2016 and December 9, 2016, Brown allegedly accepted $700 from Dene Morris to bring in the contraband to her husband, who is being held on a Queens attempted murder case. As Brown was entering the Otis Bantum Correctional Center on December 9, 2016, a Department of Investigation canine detected marijuana. Brown was found to have four ounces of marijuana, tobacco and an Arizona Iced Tea bottle filled with Patron tequila on him. He was arrested by DOI investigators.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.