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December 14, 2015

Feds: Philly prison guard pleads guilty to drug smuggling attempt

The United States' Attorney's office released a notice on Monday, saying a prison guard from Philadelphia has pleaded guilty to trying to smuggle oxycontin pills into prison. 

According to the office, Joseph Romano, 31, previously employed at The Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center and the Riverside Correctional Facility, pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of attempted extortion which interfered with interstate commerce and two counts of attempted distribution of controlled substances.

Law enforcement officials said that with the plea, Romano said he agreed to deliver OxyContin pills to a prisoner in exchange for $1,000. 
To obtain the contraband and payment, the U.S. Attorney's Office said, Romano arranged a meeting with the inmate’s purported associate at locations in Philadelphia and, during the ensuing meeting, the inmate’s purported associate handed the contraband and cash payment to Romano.

Romano subsequently smuggled the contraband past prison security and delivered it to an inmate, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.  

Romano is currently in federal prison awaiting a sentencing hearing on March 14.  

At sentencing, Romano faces a possible maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison, possible fines, supervised release, and a $300 special assessment.