Correctional Guard Charged For Giving Inmate A Cell Phone

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  FREEHOLD – A Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Correctional Police Officer, who was assigned as a guard at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI), has been criminally charged for supplying a cell phone to an inmate, officials said.

   Latonya C. Johnson, 51, a resident of Piscataway, has been charged with a single count of second-degree Knowingly Providing an Electronic Communication Device to an Inmate. 

  According to authorities, Johnson was in a romantic relationship with an inmate and brought the cell phone into the jail sometime between May and October 2022 in order to communicate with them.

  Johnson was served the charge against her via summons on, January 23, pending a first appearance tentatively scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. on March 7. She currently faces by up to 10 years in state prison for the second-degree criminal charges.

  “Sworn members of law enforcement are rightfully held to a higher standard of conduct, and when they fall short of that standard, straying into criminal behavior, swift and decisive action becomes imperative,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago said. “We sincerely thank our partners with the MCCI Investigation Division and the Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Shaun Golden, for their assistance in this investigation.”

  “All members of the law enforcement profession have a sworn duty to exhibit the highest level of professionalism with honor and integrity as they protect and serve. Any conduct that does not meet that expectation will not be tolerated,” Sheriff Golden added. “I’m proud of the correctional police officers who tirelessly serve this agency. An officer who violates his or her oath of office does a grave disservice to their co-workers, as well as the entire law enforcement profession, and will be held accountable with proper disciplinary action taken.”

  Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.