Chantiel Cox was employed by Armor Correctional Health Services; two others arrested and charged with conspiracy
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that three women were arrested for their roles in smuggling dangerous contraband, including K2 and razor blades, into the Nassau County Correctional Facility in East Meadow after a six-week long investigation by the DA’s office and the Nassau County Police Department’s District Attorney Squad.
Chantiel Cox, 25, from Huntington, was charged with two counts of Promoting Prison Contraband in the 1st Degree (a D felony), two counts of Promoting Prison Contraband in the 2nd Degree (an A misdemeanor) and one count of Conspiracy in the 5th degree (an A misdemeanor). Cox, formerly employed as a nurse at the correctional facility, faces up to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison on the top charge.
Sharonda Hall, 24, of Wyandanch, and Amanda Minnieer, 27 of Baldwin, were charged with two counts each of Promoting Prison Contraband in the 1st Degree (a D felony) and one count each of Conspiracy in the 5th degree (an A misdemeanor). If convicted on the top charge, the women face up to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison on the top charge.
Cox and Minnieer were arraigned today before District Court Judge Paul Meli. Bail was set at $30,000 cash or bond for each defendant and both are due back in court on Feb. 9.
Hall was arraigned on Feb. 4 before Judge Meli. Bail was set at $10,000 bond or $5,000 cash and she is due back in court on Feb. 8.
“The alleged actions of the defendants endangered everyone at the jail and raise serious questions about security procedures and oversight at the correctional facility,” DA Singas said. “Our paramount concern is the safety of corrections officers, support staff, visitors and inmates at the East Meadow facility and we are continuing our investigation to determine how dangerous items were smuggled into the jail.”
“The smuggling of contraband into the Correctional facility is something that will not be tolerated. Today’s arrests should serve as a deterrent to criminals that the Nassau County Police Department is working with our fellow law enforcement partners to ensure public safety,” said Acting NCPD Commissioner Thomas Krumpter.
DA Singas said that on Dec. 23, defendant Cox, as she was entering the secure facility, was allegedly discovered to be carrying a cellphone and a lighter. Both items are deemed to be contraband in the facility – misdemeanor offenses of the penal law – and the nurse was administratively dismissed that day.
During the investigation of Cox, it was discovered that inmates at NCCC had allegedly communicated with Hall and Minnieer about smuggling illegal drugs and weapons into the facility. Hall and Minnieer allegedly picked up sums of cash, typically $50 or $100, at a money wiring store and that money was then used to acquire contraband goods destined for the correctional facility. The goods were then allegedly turned over to Cox, who smuggled them into the facility.
Hall was arrested on Feb. 2, while Cox and Minnieer were arrested on Feb. 4. The arrests were made by members of the NCPD DA Squad.
The investigation is ongoing.
Assistant District Attorney Anne Donnelly, Deputy Chief of DA Singas’ Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau, is prosecuting the case. Cox is represented by Tara Meyerhofer, Esq., Hall was represented at arraignment by Legal Aid, and Minnieer is represented by Alfred Amadio, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.