LOCKPORT, NY (WIVB) – The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Correction Officer on charges of receiving a bribe in the third degree, a felony; promoting prison contraband in the second degree, and official misconduct, both misdemeanors. He was immediately suspended without pay pending a departmental investigation and hearing.
Police say that John Dale, 33, of Niagara Falls accepted cash from an outside source to transport contraband into the jail for an inmate.
Officer Dale was arraigned in Town of Lockport Justice court and bail was set at $2,500. He is scheduled to return to court Thursday.
Due to the nature of the alleged acts, the on-going criminal investigation, and pending departmental charges, no further information will be forthcoming, according to authorities.
The Niagara County Sheriff says Dale, who was hired in 2013 was paid just $20 dollars in cash to smuggle contraband inside prison walls. Now he will likely lose his job and is also facing criminal charges.
Sheriff Jim Voutour said someone who knew a prison inmate contacted Dale. The contraband was brought to Dale’s house, then Dale brought it to the inmate. The Sheriff’s Office says they received a tip and then began their investigation.
They say this may have not been a one time incident. Dale’s record was spotless, and Voutour says he had passed all of the required psychological tests with flying colors. He says Dale is not someone they predicted would do something like this.
Voutour said, “I cant explain it. I can tell you inmates can sometimes be very persuasive. They have a long time to sit around, and think about how to intimidate those who are working around them as we saw in the other case in Clinton County.” That’s the part that makes my head spin. $20 dollars to give up a full time job, which aren’t easy to get these days, making good money, full benefits, all you have to do is follow the rules and do your job.”
The Sheriff’s Office won’t say what the contraband was because of the ongoing investigation. Voutour says Dale is currently suspended, but this is grounds for expulsion and that is the direction he is heading with his decision.