Seventh Rikers officer charged with smuggling drugs into jails


A correction officer at Rikers Island has been indicted on charges that she smuggled marijuana and other contraband into a jail, federal authorities said Friday.

Karin Robinson is the seventh officer to be arrested as a result of a 2019 investigation into drug dealing in the jails.

The indictment from Brooklyn federal prosecutor Breon Peace alleges that Robinson accepted a series of $1,000 payments via Cash App, a money-transfer platform, from the wife of a detainee, James Albert. Albert was convicted last year of running a large drug operation while incarcerated. Six correction officers were previously arrested in connection with the case, along with 15 others.

Robinson faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Her attorney did not return a call for comment.

The indictment comes as Rikers Island struggles with a spate of drug overdose deaths, mostly from fentanyl. Officials say that detainees are getting the drugs via mail, and next week they’re seeking approval from the Board of Correction to ban the receipt of mailed letters and instead have mail scanned to be delivered to detainees digitally.

But advocates for detainees say that plan is a distraction from the fact that officers bring in the bulk of the drugs, as evidenced by the charges against Robinson and others. Two officers who testified at Albert’s trial last month described how they were able to sneak pounds of marijuana onto Rikers Island by concealing the drugs in a brown paper bag topped with apples.


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