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Rikers officers charged with smuggling Bloods gang members with contraband

Two New York City corrections officers smuggled Bloods gang members onto Rikers Island — including a guard who had apparently been romantically involved with an inmate nicknamed “tomato sauce,” federal authorities alleged on Tuesday .

Krystle Burrell, 35, and Katrina Patterson, 31, each allegedly pocketed thousands of dollars in bribes in separate schemes involving different inmates at the troubled prison.

Burrell, a six-year Department of Corrections veteran, was paid nearly $10,000 to switch at least two cellphones to Terrae Hinds, with whom she appeared to be romantically involved, according to a criminal complaint.

The prison guard is also accused of helping Hinds, 28, in his business of selling black market goods to other inmates.

Hinds – whose gang nickname is “Tomato Sauce” – was locked up at the Anna M. Kross Center on charges related to a shooting while allegedly bribing Burrell between June 2021 and July 2021.

Court documents say Burrell and the prisoner “appear to be romantically involved.” During a June 25 phone call, the two said “I love you” and “imitated a kiss,” the complaint states.

In another call, they “discussed their sexual relationship, and Hinds implied that Burrell had previously had a sexual relationship with him while he was incarcerated,” the filing said.

Rikers guard Krystle Burrell is accused of having a relationship with inmate Terrae Hinds, aka “Tomato Sauce”.
JC Rice

Burrell also helped Hinds’ family arrange bail, secure his release from Rikers – and continued to help gang members locked up on his behalf after his release, authorities said.

The other correctional officer, Patterson, took at least $34,090 in bribes from two baby mamas of 36-year-old Michael Ross – aka “Sparks” – who was being held for illegal possession of firearms, according to a criminal complaint.

The girlfriends, Ashley Medina, 25, and Imani Matthews, 24, allegedly used CashApp to pay Patterson between October 2020 and March 2021. In exchange, Patterson smuggled contraband, such as marijuana and K2, to Ross in the Robert N. Davoren Center at Rikers. , indicates the folder.

Rikers officers charged with smuggling Bloods gang members with contraband
The DOC has already suspended the salaries of employees Krystle Burrell and Katrina Patterson.
REUTERS/Mike Segar/File

In one instance, prosecutors said, Matthews texted that she wanted Patterson to pass “4 black joints in 1 paper,” to her pal – to which the prison guard replied, “better be wrapped up so many times that I don’t want to feel this.”

Patterson, who also started working for the DOC in 2016, was reportedly caught on surveillance video smuggling bags of narcotics to Ross’ cohorts at the prison.

The DOC said the guards would be suspended without pay.

Matthews, Medina, Ross and Hinds are also charged in the bribery conspiracy case, which is being prosecuted by the Eastern District of New York. The six defendants face up to five years in prison if convicted.

In a statement, DOC Commissioner Louis Molina called the allegations “extremely disturbing.”

“Contraband is not only deplorable and illegal, but it endangers everyone in our facilities,” Molina said. “We have zero tolerance for corruption and it is paramount as public servants that we commit ourselves to impeccable integrity.

“If these officers are found guilty, they will be fired and their shield numbers will never be worn again.”

New York Post

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