A corrections officer at the Atlantic County Justice Facility is accused of smuggling drugs and cell phones into the jail.
Luis Mercado, 25, of Galloway Township, allegedly made thousands of dollars for bringing in contraband, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
He was charged with official misconduct after a joint investigation over several months found he used his position to sneak in contraband, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner announced Friday, two weeks after Mercado was released following a detention hearing.
During a text message conversation, Mercado sent audio messages about specific items he was smuggling in and amounts he was being paid, according to the affidavit.
Mercado is currently suspended without pay.
The corrections officers’ union president put out a statement Friday, saying “it brings me great displeasure to even address such an issue.”
Read full statement below:
Note: The Atlantic County Justice Facility no longer provides mugshots to the media, citing the Atlantic County prosecutor’s order. The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office says it’s part of the Attorney General’s Guidelines. There is no such guideline, according to the Attorney General’s Office, but they have told these offices for years that they should not release any photos that appear to be mugshots.