Corrections Officer Pleads Guilty to Scheme to Smuggle Opioids into US Prison

A former corrections officer at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute facility in Norfolk, USA (MCI-Norfolk) pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston in connection with a conspiracy to smuggle Suboxone strips into the facility for an inmate.

Steven J. Frazer, 29, of Cumberland, R.I., pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with one count of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute. U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. scheduled sentencing for Sept. 16, 2019. In November 2018, Frazer was charged by criminal complaint and arrested.

Beginning around Nov. 14, 2018, Frazer, who was working as a corrections officer, arranged with a cooperating witness to smuggle Suboxone strips into MCI-Norfolk to sell to inmates. Suboxone is a Class III controlled substance used to treat heroin addiction, but some people abuse it to get high. It is coveted as contraband in prisons across the nation and particularly in New England.

Around midnight on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, the cooperating witness met Frazer in a South Attleboro parking lot and provided him with 40 Suboxone strips, 24 pages of K2 (a synthetic cannabinoid, which is more powerful and more dangerous than marijuana), and $2,500 in cash. After the meeting – which was audio and video recorded by law enforcement – federal agents arrested Frazer.

The charge of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $500,000 and restitution. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Commissioner Carol A. Mici III of the Massachusetts Department of Correction made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris of Lelling’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting the case.