NEWARK, N.J. (1010 WINS) — According to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, a corrections officer at a Newark prison and his girlfriend were detained on Tuesday after they allegedly consented to smuggle contraband into the jail at the direction of an undercover FBI agent. The undercover agent was working for the FBI.
According to the allegations, 34-year-old Efrin Wade and his girlfriend, 29-year-old Yairisa Lizardo, began conversing with a covert FBI agent in the month of January.
It is alleged that the couple conspired to bring contraband items such as tobacco and cell phones into the Essex County Detention Institution, where Wade had been employed since February 2020.
According to the prosecution, Lizardo met with the agent on February 1 and took $10,000 along with a cargo of tobacco. This information was provided by the government.
After that, officials claim that Wade snuck the tobacco into ECCF and hid the stashes in various locations across the institution.
He believed that other inmates would retrieve the contraband in order to sell it to other inmates, but in reality, police enforcement personnel were the ones who retrieved the tobacco.
It is also believed that Wade and Lizardo were given mobile phones to smuggle into the detention center.
During the course of their investigation on Tuesday, law enforcement personnel searched Wade and discovered many packs of cigarettes, tobacco, and cigars.
The two defendants were both accused of extortion under the guise of official rights by the prosecuting attorneys. They each face a possible sentence of up to 20 years in jail, and they were each released on a bond of $100,000.