4 Guards, Prison Employees Arrested by Attorney General

HARRISBURG – Agents from the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and the Attorney General’s Public Corruption Unit have filed criminal charges against four current and former corrections officers and prison employees allegedly linked to illegal drug trafficking in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility (LCCF).

Kevin D. Warman

Acting Attorney General Bill Ryan identified the defendants as Kevin Domonick Warman, age 50, 344 Hillside Ave., Edwardsville; John Matthew Carey, age 37, 270 Rutter Ave., Kingston; Jason D. Fierman, age 35, 76 Midland Drive, Dallas; and Christopher J. Walsh, 28, 26 New Street, Pittston.

Ryan said the criminal charges filed today are the result of an extensive grand jury investigation, known as “Operation Broken Trust,” into reports of cocaine and prescription drug trafficking inside and outside the Luzerne County Prison.  Evidence and testimony was presented over a 13-month period to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges filed today.

John M. Carey

“Any allegations that individuals in positions of authority are using their powers to commit crimes or compromise law enforcement activities are an extremely serious matter,” Ryan said.  “These crimes are not only a violation of the public trust but also a clear threat to public safety.”

The grand jury found that Kevin Warman, a licensed practical nurse who formerly supervised the infirmary at the prison, used fictitious names or the names of former inmates to obtain prescription pain medication and other controlled substances from pharmacies on behalf of the prison.  Those drugs were allegedly used by Warman and distributed to other prison employees and corrections officers.

Jason D. Fierman

Ryan said that prior to his termination in 2009, Warman was responsible for tracking all medication coming into and being dispensed from the LCCF infirmary – allegedly using that position to conceal the diversion and abuse of powerful prescription drugs.

The grand jury found that former LCCF Captain John Carey received deliveries of cocaine on numerous occasions from other prison employees and former inmates.  Carey allegedly purchased cocaine from, or provided cocaine to, several individuals linked to a large-scale cocaine trafficking ring involving motorcycle gang members that resulted in numerous arrests in 2009 (an investigation known as “Operation Avalanche”).

Christopher J. Walsh

Ryan said that Corrections Officers Jason Fierman and Christopher Walsh are also accused of taking delivery of, or selling cocaine to, others inside the prison.  Additionally, Fierman allegedly sold prescription drugs to inmates he was supervising at the prison along with other individuals.

Kevin D. Warman is charged with one count of delivery of a controlled substance and one count of acquisition or obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge.

John M. Carey is charged with one count each of delivery of cocaine and possession of cocaine.

Jason D. Fierman is charged with one count each of delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance.

Christopher J. Walsh is charged with one count each of delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance.

The defendants were preliminarily arraigned today before Wilkes-Barre Magisterial District Judge Martin Kane.  Bail for Fierman and Walsh was set at $5,000 straight.  Bail for Warman and Carey was set at $10,000 unsecured.

All four defendants are scheduled for preliminary hearings on March 17th, at 10 a.m., in Luzerne County Central Court.

The defendants will be prosecuted in Luzerne County by Deputy Attorney General Timothy M. Doherty of the Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force Section.

Acting Attorney General Ryan thanked the Luzerne County District Attorney Jacqueline Musto Carroll and the Luzerne County Correctional Facility Warden Joseph Piazza for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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