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Prison chaplin pleads guilty to bribery, giving contraband

May 1, 2019

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A federal prison chaplain in New Hampshire has pleaded guilty to accepting bribes for providing inmates cellphones, tobacco, drugs, and other contraband.

Prosecutors said investigators seized Suboxone strips, tobacco and over $5,000 in proceeds from the office of 53-year-old Joseph Buenviaje at the federal prison in Berlin, New Hampshire, last year.

Buenviaje told investigators he had been smuggling drugs and other contraband into the prison once or twice per week, he had received bribes of at least $12,000, and inmates owed him an additional $3,000 to $5,000.

Buenviaje also admitted that he received the contraband and some of the bribe payments by mail addressed to his ministry and repackaged it. He also received notebooks with drug-soaked pages that he smuggled into the prison.

He’s scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 1.

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