Former Corrections Officer Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Accepting Cash Bribes in Exchange for Smuggling Contraband into Essex County Correctional Facility
NEWARK, NJ—A former Essex County corrections officer was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for accepting bribes in exchange for smuggling contraband, including cell phones and tobacco, into the Essex County Correctional Facility, a federal pretrial detention facility, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
John Grosso, 42, of Belleville, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to commit extortion under color of official right. Judge Chesler imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Grosso, a former corrections officer at the Essex County Correctional Facility, admitted that in December 2013, he agreed to accept cash bribes in return for his assistance smuggling cell phones and cigarettes to an inmate. Grosso met with the inmate’s relative in Secaucus, New Jersey, to accept the contraband and bribe before delivering the items to the inmate.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced Grosso to one year of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark, and the Internal Affairs Division of Essex County Correctional Facility, under the leadership of Warden Roy Hendricks, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rahul Agarwal of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division and Robert L. Frazer of the Criminal Division, Organized Crime/Gangs Unit, in Newark.