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Rikers Corrections Officer Denies Striking Deals With Inmates For Drugs

Officer Accused Of Promising To Shorten Sentences For Drugs
A view of buildings on Rikers Island penitentiary complex (file/credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

A view of buildings on Rikers Island penitentiary complex (file/credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Rikers Island corrections officer on trial for drug charges took the stand in his defense on Tuesday.

As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, Robert Winfield is accused of demanding drugs from inmates in return for getting their sentences shortened, which is something he cannot do in his role as corrections officer.

Winfield defended himself against the charges at his trial in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday.

He was secretly tape recorded by an inmate who turned informant using what prosecutors called coded language for drugs, referring to them as TVs.

Winfield was also heard on tape boasting of owning 50 White Castle restaurants, a Lamborghini and having millions of dollars. But Winfield testified that it was just talk and that he never used coded language.

As a corrections officer, Winfield said, “you’ve got to know how to use your mouth or you’ll have a terrible day.”

“I once had someone die in my arms,” he told the jury.

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