Bronx man among 9 correction officers charged with smuggling contraband to inmates

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A Bronx man was among nine current and former NYC correction officers charged Wednesday with taking cash bribes in return for smuggling contraband to inmates in New York City jails.

Robert Balducci, 33, allegedly abused his position as a correction officer to smuggle razor blades, marijuana and other contraband into the Otis Bantum Correctional Center on Rikers Island, in return for at least $5,000 in bribes, in or about October 2020.

He was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit federal crimes, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, one count of federal program bribery, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and one count of honest services wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

“These defendants were responsible for maintaining a safe and orderly environment in New York City’s jails,” said U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss. “Instead, as alleged, they abused their positions to enrich themselves by smuggling weapons, drugs, and other dangerous contraband in return for thousands of dollars of cash bribes. This alleged activity violated the defendants’ duties, and endangered the inmates they were charged to supervise and guard.”

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