Since January 2012, there have been 85 arrests in connection with the black market. A single cigarette at Rikers Island goes for $30 on average, jail sources say.
MEL EVANS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
To fight the underground trade, the Correction Department uses dogs to sniff out drugs, tobacco and cellphones. But jail workers’ locker rooms and other staff spots are generally left out.
The price of a pack of cigarettes in city jails has jumped to as high as $200, fueling a lucrative black market that’s led to 85 arrests since January 2012.
This year, there have already been 20 arrests, according to Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson.
That includes deliveryman Stephen Freeman, 48, who was busted last Thursday morning trying to sneak in four bags of tobacco on a truck carrying fruits and vegetables, prosecutors said.
“That’s a serious haul,” said a veteran jail boss.
Investigators believe he was planning on selling it to inmates, but Freeman said it was his personal stash.
BEBETO MATTHEWS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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