Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 14, 2016
Former Prison Guard Sentenced For Smuggling Contraband
PHILADELPHIA – Joseph Romano, 31, previously employed at The Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center (“PICC”) and the Riverside Correctional Facility, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for attempted extortion which interfered with interstate commerce and two counts of attempted distribution of controlled substances. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Paul S. Diamond ordered a $1,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a $200 special assessment.
Romano agreed to deliver OxyContin pills to a prisoner in exchange for $1,000. To obtain the contraband and payment, Romano arranged a meeting with the inmate’s purported associate at locations in Philadelphia. During the ensuing meeting, the inmate’s purported associate handed the contraband and cash payment to Romano, and Romano subsequently smuggled the contraband past prison security and delivered it to an inmate.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Philadelphia Department of Corrections with assistance from the Philadelphia Police Department’s Prison Intelligence Group. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Brenner.