By: Najla Alexander
Authorities in Monmouth County announced that a Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Correctional Police Officer who worked at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) has admitted to providing a cell phone to an inmate.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago stated appearing before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Christie L. Bevacqua last week, 52-year-old Latonya C. Johnson, a resident of Piscataway (Middlesex County), pleaded guilty to second-degree Knowingly Providing an Electronic Communication Device to an Inmate.
An investigation led by the MCPO Professional Responsibility & Bias Crime Bureau and assisted by the MCCI Investigations Division revealed that Johnson brought the cell phone into the jail sometime between May and October 2022, officials stated.
According to officials, this occurred when she and the inmate were engaged in a romantic relationship in order to be able to communicate with him more frequently.
Officials said Johnson was served the charge against her in January 2023.
This case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the MCPO Professional Responsibility & Bias Crime Bureau, officials say.
Authorities say Johnson is being represented by Carlos Diaz-Cobo, Esq., with an office in Freehold.
Upon entering her plea, Johnson permanently forfeited the right to seek future public employment in New Jersey, officials stated.
According to officials, sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, January 12, 2024, at which time Johnson is expected to be sentenced to a term of three years in state prison.