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Essex County Jail Guard Sentenced in Smuggling Ring

A New Jersey corrections officer has been sentenced to five years in prison for his role in a smuggling ring at the Essex County jail.

Joseph Mastriani (Essex County Prosecutor's Office)

Joseph Mastriani, a nine-year corrections department veteran, was among 13 people arrested in July 2010. He later pleaded guilty to official misconduct.

The 32-year-old from Bloomfield was sentenced Friday in Newark.

Prosecutors say Mastriani was the mastermind behind a $1,000-a-week smuggling operation that brought narcotics and cell phones into the jail, charging up to $500 an item.

He must serve five years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

Mastriani’s girlfriend, Jill Watral, was sentenced Friday to two years’ probation and ordered to forfeit her school teaching job in Cedar Grove.

Two inmates also have been sentenced for their role in the smuggling ring.

 

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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