New Jersey jail workers charged in smuggling ring

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Investigators uncovered a “contraband marketplace” that involved drugs and other smuggled items in the Newark jail. (Google)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Nine people, including two corrections officers and a lawyer, are facing charges in what federal authorities say was a ring that smuggled contraband into a northern New Jersey jail.

The U.S. attorney’s office says the ring ran a “contraband marketplace” inside a federal pretrial detention facility at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.

Authorities say the officers and the attorney abused their positions to smuggle marijuana, cellphones and other contraband into the facility in exchange for cash bribes. The goods were distributed by inmates also charged in the scheme.

Among those charged are corrections officers 26-year-old Stephon Solomon of Irvington, and 25-year-old Channel Lespinasse of Florham Park, and 66-year-old attorney Brian Kapalin of Maplewood.

It’s not immediately known who will represent them at their first court appearances on Wednesday.

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