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Brooklyn Principal, Boyfriend Charged With Smuggling Heroin Into Prison

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A highly praised school principal is facing up to eight years behind bars after she allegedly participated in a scheme to smuggle drugs into a prison.

State police say Sadie Silver — who made headlines for a dramatic improvement in reading scores at P.S. 28 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn — and a man described as her boyfriend, Michael Acosta, tried to sneak heroin and painkillers into Coxsackie Correctional Facility, an upstate maximum-security prison, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported. Silver’s son, Alex Mercado, is doing time on weapons charges at the prison.

Silver and Acosta are also charged with child endangerment because Silver’s young daughter was with them at the time.

Silver and Acosta have been released from jail on bond. No one was home when Aiello stopped by their address in Woodhaven, Queens.

CBS 2 has learned Acosta was spotted at the prison’s visitor screening room allegedly trying to hide small balloons filled with drugs.

Silver did not have any drugs, but investigators believe she conspired to smuggle them inside.

Kai Stabell, of Bed-Stuy, said he is shocked that someone who made progress improving the school could end up in such a mess.

“It’s incredibly sad because someone like that you would have hoped was going to drive a school into a better direction,” Stabell said. “So it’s a loss, for sure.”

Silver was in a different kind of trouble two years ago and ended up paying $1,500 to the New York City Conflict of Interest Board.

She admitted then that she “used my city position to obtain a private advantage for my brother” after she helped him get a job with a student services vendor working at Silver’s school.

The principals’ union said it is “extremely troubled by the allegations.”

The Department of Education reassigned Silver while the charges are pending.

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