Police & Fire

Sheriff's Officer Charged with Providing Cellphone to Inmate in Passaic County Prison

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TOTOWA/PATERSON N.J. - Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Passaic County Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik announce the arrest of Wade Hyman, age 49, of Newport News, Virginia.

Wade Hyman was arrested without incident on March 17, 2017, at approximately 10:00 a.m., in Totowa, by members the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office. Mr. Hyman was charged on the same date by the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office with one count of second degree Use of Certain Electronic Devices in Correctional Facilities in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-10d. This statute prohibits an employee of a county correctional facility from knowingly selling, transferring, assigning, providing or otherwise giving an electronic communication device to a person who is confined in a county correctional facility. A second degree offense carries a maximum term of ten years in New Jersey State Prison. The charge was placed on a summons.

On January 20, 2017, Mr. Hyman was employed as a corrections officer by the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office at the Passaic County Jail. On that date, Mr. Hyman allegedly provided access to his personal cellular telephone to an inmate to communicate with an individual outside the Passaic County Jail. The matter was investigated by the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office.

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The investigation in this matter remains ongoing. At this time, further information will not be released so as not to jeopardize the safety of persons involved or to jeopardize the investigation in progress.

The Open Public Records Act and Executive Order #69 address the balancing required during ongoing investigations. Not all information regarding an arrest may be or should be released within 24 hours. In an ongoing investigation, the release of information is guided by concerns including victim safety, the integrity of the investigation, and harm to a bona fide law enforcement purpose or public safety. The release of information pertinent to public safety, and the timing of its release, are designed to minimize witness taint, encourage current and future witness cooperation, protect the rights of criminal defendants or suspects, and engender trust with the public.

Media inquiries should be directed to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mary Catherine Ryan at mryan@passaiccountynj.org. Any inquiries as to Mr. Hyman’s employment status should be directed to the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office. The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office asks anyone with additional information about this incident to contact us on our tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or tips@passaiccountynj.org.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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