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Two Essex County Corrections Officers Charged with Tampering with Records

By rlsmetro on

Newark --Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, announced today that two corrections officers have been charged with falsifying records while on the job at the Essex County Correctional Facility, located on Doremus Avenue in Newark.

Raymond Distasi, 52, of Roxbury Township has been charged with one count of tampering with public records, a third-degree offense. It is alleged that Distasi, who was working from 10 pm to 6 am on March 17 and March 18, 2019, knowingly made false entries in the jail logbook indicating that he had made rounds in the jail when surveillance video evidence showed he did not make the required rounds, according to Assistant Prosecutor Jessica Apostolou, who is handling the case. His failure to make the required rounds came to light when there was an in-custody death investigation.

Quasi Cary, 30, of Newark has also been charged with tampering with public records for knowingly making false entries in the jail logbook indicating he performed the required rounds on Dec. 2, 2018 throughout his shift from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. It is alleged that surveillance footage during the shift shows he did not make the tours listed in the logbook, said Assistant Prosecutor Alexander Albu, who is handling the case. In that case, the failure to make the required rounds came to light when an inmate was assaulted.

“The defendants had a duty to ensure the safety and security of inmates under their care. Their failure to conduct required checks on inmates is inexcusable. Lying to conceal that failure is criminal conduct that will not be tolerated,” said Assistant Prosecutor Albu.

The investigation was conducted jointly by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Standards Bureau with the assistance of the Essex County Correctional Facility Internal Affairs Unit. These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Both are due to make their first court appearance on March 11. They were charged by summons.