Four Charged in Alleged Drug Smuggling Attempt at Broome Jail
Two Broome County Jail inmates and two other people are accused of being involved in a conspiracy to smuggle fentanyl into the town of Dickinson facility.
Authorities on Monday said the suspects face felony charges following an investigation by the sheriff's office.
Sheriff Fred Akshar said his agency's investigators were able to stop an effort to smuggle and distribute illegal drugs into the jail.
Akshar said they were able to stop the "conspiracy in its tracks and prevent nearly 3,650 fatal doses of fentanyl from circulating throughout the correctional facility."
The sheriff said an investigator last Wednesday observed a jail visit between an inmate - Marcello McDonald of Queens - and Ethan Papathomopoulos of Endicott. It appeared "an exchange of contraband occurred" during a handshake.
Investigators ultimately discovered McDonald had been in possession of some fentanyl. Ultimately, the inmate's housing unit and cell were checked. The search turned up 131 pills hidden in his cell.
Papathomopoulos and 21-year-old Alexis Merrill of the town of Maine were arrested for their alleged involvement in acquiring the fentanyl and delivering it to McDonald.
McDonald and another inmate, 21-year-old Justice Marimberga of the town of Maine, also were arrested.
All four have been charged with felony counts, including fourth-degree conspiracy.
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