NEWARK, NJ – A Maplewood attorney was among nine charged with smuggling contraband into the Essex County jail, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced today.
Brian Kapalin, 66, was arrested this morning by FBI special agents. He is accused of passing marijuana and tobacco to an inmate.
“Jails are no place for drugs and illicit phones, and it is disappointing that two corrections officers and an attorney allegedly used their authority and access to make them available,” Fishman said in a news release.
Also arrested were corrections officer Stephon Solomon, 26, Irvington; Darsell Davis, 28, Dwayne Harper, 30, and Deidra Harrison, 49, all of Newark; and Vladimir Sauzereseteo, 40, East Orange. Corrections officer Channel Lespinasse, 25, Florham Park, was issued a summons.
Quasim Nichols, 29, and Muhammad Subpunallah, 32, are already in jail on unrelated federal charges.
According to the complaint, phone calls and text messages in January indicate that Kapalin, referred to as “Unc,” arranged to deliver a package of marijuana for a cash payment to an unnamed inmate who is cooperating with authorities. The witness turned over the package to law enforcement, according to the complaint.
The document noted the package contained a T-shirt with three vacuum-sealed packages of marijuana and two packages of tobacco and rolling papers. The complaint noted law enforcement has other text messages that “provide further evidence of this conspiracy to smuggle contraband into Essex County Jail.”
The charge of conspiring to provide marijuana to inmates at a jail carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the news release from the U.S. Attorney District of New Jersey.
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. released a statement saying the correctional facility has “zero tolerance” when security is jeopardized “by corrections officers who abuse their positions, attorneys who exploit privileges and inmates who break our rules.”