NEW YORK (AP) — Two corrections officers were accused of accepting bribes and smuggling contraband including cell phones into New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex, according to criminal complaints unsealed Tuesday. The guards were arrested along with four other people in connection to two separate schemes, said Breon Peace, U.S. attorney for the eastern district of New York, in a release.
In one alleged scheme, Katrina Patterson, 31, a correction officer since June 2016, was accused of accepting more than $34,000 from two women in order to bring drugs and cell phones inside of the complex’s facilities for an inmate in custody there. Both women and the inmate were also charged.
In the other complaint, Krystle Burrell, 35, also working in corrections since June 2016, was accused of smuggling cell phones into another facility, with an inmate accused of arranging for almost $10,000 in bribes to be sent to her. He was also arrested.
“As alleged, Burrell and Patterson, both New York City Correctional Officers, brought shame and disgrace to New York’s Boldest by putting the safety of fellow officers and inmates at risk by conspiring to introduce contraband at Rikers Island Correctional Facilities on behalf of known Bloods Gang members,” said HSI New York Acting Special Agent in Charge Patel. “The details in the complaint allege that both officers brazenly betrayed their oath to act with integrity and professionalism to create a safe environment in correctional facilities—their actions tarnish the great reputation of the men and women who put on the uniform of a New York City Correction Officer and risk their lives on a daily basis.”
An email was sent to Patterson’s attorney seeking comment. Burrell’s attorney declined to make any statement.