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Ex-corrections officer gets 7-year sentence for taking bribes to smuggle contraband

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NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey — A Pennsylvania man who formerly was a corrections officer in New Jersey has been sentenced for conspiring to smuggle cash and a prepaid calling card to an inmate.

Nikita Cardwell of Easton received a seven-year sentence Monday.

Cardwell was convicted in April on charges of bribery, official misconduct and conspiracy to commit both bribery and official misconduct. He was acquitted of money laundering and conspiring to smuggle drugs to inmates.

The 51-year-old Cardwell, who worked at Northern State Prison in Newark, was suspended without pay in 2011 after he was accused of smuggling $400 and the calling card to an inmate who was cooperating with investigators.

The inmate had said he needed the card because he was buying a cell phone from another inmate.

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