A correction officer at New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex has been charged with smuggling synthetic marijuana, also known as “K2,” into the facility.
Mohammed Sufian, 25, was arrested late on Wednesday after a drug-sniffing dog helped authorities find 61 grams of the narcotic wrapped in electrical tape and hidden inside his socks, according to the city’s Department of Investigation.
A search of Sufian’s home yielded five similar packages, four containing synthetic marijuana and one containing tobacco, authorities said.
Dozens of Rikers staffers have been charged with crimes including assault and smuggling over the past two years, as persistent allegations of inmate abuse and drug trafficking have plagued one of the country’s largest jail complexes.
The approximately 10,000 inmates, housed in 10 facilities, are mostly either defendants awaiting trial who have not made bail or convicted individuals serving short-term sentences.
The city agreed to implement a series of reforms last year to resolve a lawsuit filed by inmates and backed by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that guards routinely used excessive force.
In 2014, the Department of Correction agreed to install drug detection dogs at Rikers to inspect staff members after a Department of Investigation report concluded that inadequate screening procedures did little to stem the flow of illegal contraband.