Acting AG Bruck Announces Indictment of Inmate and His Sister for Allegedly Conspiring to Smuggle Drugs and Cell Phones into Northern State Prison

For Immediate Release: October 5, 2021

Office of The Attorney General
– Andrew J. Bruck, Acting Attorney General
Office of Public Integrity and Accountability
– Thomas J. Eicher, Executive Director

For Further Information:

Media Inquiries-
Peter Aseltine
OAGpress@njoag.gov

Todd Indictment

TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck today announced that an inmate and his sister have been indicted by a state grand jury for conspiring to smuggle contraband—including synthetic cannabinoid, or “K2,” and mini-cellular telephones—into Northern State Prison in Newark, where the inmate allegedly distributed the contraband to other inmates.

The Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) obtained an indictment yesterday, Oct. 4, charging James Todd, 30, aka “NuNu,” and his sister, Hassanah Todd, 32, both of Newark, N.J., with the following criminal offenses:

  1. Conspiracy (2nd Degree)
  2. Official Misconduct (2nd Degree)
  3. Bribery in Official and Political Matters (2nd Degree)
  4. Offer of Unlawful Benefits to a Public Servant for Official Action (2nd Degree)
  5. Possession of a Synthetic Cannabinoid with Intent to Distribute (2nd Degree)
  6. Attempt to Provide an Electronic Communication Device to a State Inmate (2nd Degree)
  7. Possession of a Synthetic Cannabinoid with Intent to Distribute within 1,000 Feet of a School (3rd Degree).

James Todd was formerly an inmate at Northern State Prison, and is currently an inmate at South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, N.J. The indictment is the result of an investigation by the OPIA Corruption Bureau and New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) Special Investigations Division.

It is alleged that James Todd and Hassanah Todd conspired with a former correctional police officer at Northern State Prison who previously pled guilty, paying him to smuggle contraband into the prison for them, including synthetic cannabinoid and mini-cellular telephones. It is alleged that the correctional police officer brought the contraband into the prison and delivered it to James Todd, who distributed it to other inmates.

“The smuggling of illegal drugs and communication devices to inmates poses a serious threat to security in our state prisons,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “We’re committed to working with the Department of Corrections to maintain safety in our prisons through prosecutions like this one involving Northern State Prison and our recent indictment of an alleged gang-related ‘hit squad’ committing brutal assaults in New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.”

“I commend the investigators in the DOC Special Investigations Division who uncovered this alleged smuggling scheme, as well as our OPIA attorneys who presented this indictment,” said OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher. “We will aggressively prosecute criminal activity in the prison system to protect the people who are held in state custody as well as correctional police officers.”

“The NJDOC remains steadfast in its mission of operating safe and humane facilities,” said New Jersey Department of Corrections Acting Commissioner Victoria Kuhn, Esq. “We are grateful for the work of our Special Investigations Division and law enforcement partners to ensure the integrity of our operations and the safety off all those within our facilities.”

The indictment is posted online at: https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases21/Todd_Indictment.pdf

Deputy Attorneys General Travis Miscia, Michael McDonald, and John A. Nicodemo are prosecuting the case for the OPIA Corruption Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Peter Lee and OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione.

Acting Attorney General Bruck commended all of the investigators who worked on the investigation for the DOC Special Investigations Division.

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.


Defense Attorneys

For James Todd: Assistant Deputy Public Defender Jada Mayson-Osabu, Essex County.
For Hassanah Todd: John J. McMahon, Esq., of West Orange, N.J.