CO smuggled cold cuts, jewelry into N.J. prison for bribes, officials say

Werner Gramajo, a senior corrections officer at Northern State Prison in Newark, smuggled cash and goods into the prison for Thomas De Vingo, a 64-year-old inmate


By Jeff Goldman
nj.com

NEWARK, N.J. - A corrections officer at a New Jersey prison accepted as much as $500 a month in bribes from an inmate to smuggle items such jewelry, cologne, cold cuts and espresso into the prison, authorities said.

Werner Gramajo is charged with official misconduct, bribery, conspiracy and tampering with public records, the state Office of the Attorney General said Wednesday.

Gramajo, a senior corrections officer at Northern State Prison in Newark, smuggled cash and the goods into the prison for Thomas De Vingo, a 64-year-old inmate serving a sentence on a robbery conviction, authorities said.

The arrangement began in early 2020 after De Vingo learned Gramajo had financial problems, the Attorney General’s office said.

Department of Corrections officials learned of the scheme after a note was found in a high-security area off limits to inmates requesting that food be brought to “Tommy Two Times.” It contained $40 cash, authorities said.

Gramajo later denied accepting cash, saying he only brought food to De Vingo on one occasion, authorities said. Gramajo has been a state employee since 2013 and is paid an annual salary of $79,660, according to pension records.

De Vigno has been locked up since Oct. 4, 2016, according to DOC records. He is eligible for parole Nov. 9, 2023.

Attorney information for Gramajo was not immediately available. Department of Corrections officials couldn’t immediately be reach for information on Gramajo’s employment status.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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