In what may be the largest corruption scandal ever to rattle the city’s prison system, 21 current and former Department of Correction employees and seven alleged confederates were indicted and arrested yesterday on charges of taking bribes to smuggle narcotics, guns and ammunition, liquor and restaurant food into the Brooklyn House of Detention for use by inmates.
The District Attorney’s investigators used a hot-dog van parked outside of the prison in downtown Brooklyn at Atlantic Avenue as a meeting place where corrupt guards and employees passed along to undercover agents cocaine, heroin, marijuana and LSD in exchange for cash.
According to the indictments voted by a grand jury the corruption and other criminal operations inside the prison included these activities:
A civilian aide distributed cocaine in chewing gum wrappers while he walked around the 10-story building passing out anti-drug leaflets to inmates.
A guard smuggled a guitar string into the institution for a prisoner who wanted to use it to strangle another inmate. The guard asked for a $75 bribe plus $2 for the string.
In the ground floor lobby of the prison a guard sold a .25 caliber Beretta and 50 rounds of ammunition for $90 to a man who turned out to be an undercover agent.
Three officers arranged to have cars stolen so they could collect more than $5000 in false insurance claims.
While inside the prison the fake inmate described himself as an organized crime figure who was in the hot-dog vending business.
Excerpt from Selwyn Raab 6/9/77 NYT