Bucks Corrections Officer Sentenced for Role in Drug Trafficking Ring Inside Prison

A prison officer has been sentenced to two to four years in state prison for his role in a drug trafficking ring inside the Bucks County Correctional Facility, authorities said Friday.

Joseph J. Jennings, 33, of Warminster, pleaded guilty Wednesday to smuggling and criminal conspiracy, according to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.

He was one of nine men charged in June 2020 with the scheme to smuggle Suboxone tapes into the prison for distribution to inmates, authorities said.

Investigators found that Jennings smuggled Suboxone into the prison on several occasions between October 2018 and July 2019 while employed as a warden assigned to the restrictive housing unit at Doylestown Prison, the office said. prosecutor.

Jennings gave the drugs to an inmate, Vincent McCandless Sr., 36, who then distributed them to other inmates in the prison, investigators said.

Jennings obtained the Suboxone from Joseph R. Wilson, 41, of Philadelphia, and McCandless’ juvenile son, authorities said.

Inmates paid for the drugs by asking family members to wire money to Wilson or by depositing money into the account of the McCandless Prison Commissioner, authorities said.

“This anti-drug organization would not have been discovered without the prison’s diligent investigators,” Deputy District Attorney Mary Kate Kohler said.

“They worked tirelessly alongside Bucks County detectives to uncover his enormous reach and the root of the problem – a dirty guard. Law enforcement in this county will not tolerate a “bad apple” in their ranks.

McCandless Sr. pleaded guilty to smuggling and criminal conspiracy in April and was sentenced to 35 to 70 months in state prison to serve after serving the sentence that landed him in jail, said the prosecutor’s office.

McCandless Sr. was serving a sentence of four and a half to ten years in state prison at the time of his arrest, authorities said.

Wilson has pleaded guilty and is expected to be sentenced in December, while McCandless’s juvenile son was found to be a delinquent earlier this year, investigators said.

The other people who have pleaded guilty are:

Travis Davies, 33, from Levittown, Joseph Korhan, 48, from Woodstown, NJ, Robert Monacelli, 29, from Falls Township, Richard Dzielinski, 42, from Philadelphia.

A ninth person, Jonathan King, 32, of Wilkes Barre, awaits his court appearance, authorities said.

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