Suspended N.J. corrections officer indicted for running cocaine trafficking network
TRENTON -- A suspended Northern State Prison corrections officer was indicted for leading a cocaine trafficking network in Newark and East Orange, authorities announced today.
Eugene Braswell, 30, of Newark came under investigation in September 2007 after he shot and killed a former inmate in a gunfight. Police surveillance led to Braswell's arrest last year.
"The state's investigation into the fatal shooting involving this corrections officer opened a door on his alleged illicit life of drug dealing," Division of Criminal Justice Director Deborah Gramiccioni said.
According to state officials, Braswell and several associates purchased large amounts of cocaine in Texas and other states, then transported it for sale in North Jersey.
Also indicted were Delrese Hardy, 35, of East Orange; Joseph Jones, 38, of Newark; Antwan Jones, 37, of Sewaren; Walter Braden, 31, of East Orange; and Shuerod Walton, 37, of East Orange.
Braswell and Hardy are both facing charges of leading a narcotics trafficking network, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. All of the defendants were charged with first degree intent to distribute cocaine, second degree conspiracy and third degree cocaine possession.
Braswell started working at the Newark-based prison in 1998. He has been suspended since his arrest last year.
By Chris Megerian/Statehouse Bureau
November 17, 2009, 2:13PM