- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont judge rejected a plea agreement that would have allowed a former correctional officer to avoid jail for smuggling marijuana into the Windsor prison.

On Tuesday Windsor County Superior Court Judge Karen Carroll rejected a deal that would have had Brett Jasinski pay a $500 fine and spend no time in jail.

Jasinski, 46, of Chester, was charged last December with a misdemeanor that carried a maximum $500 fine and six months in jail.

The Valley News (https://bit.ly/SNeWSH) reported that Carroll said the proposed deal sent the wrong message and undermined the integrity of the correctional system and the court.

“I’m not going to accept this agreement until it is an agreement that has a punitive sanction in it because I feel it is due to Mr. Jasinski and something that the public expects in a case like this,” Carroll said in court Tuesday.

Prosecutors allege that Jasinski met last August with the girlfriend of an inmate and was given $150, three packs of cigarettes and two bags each containing an eighth of an ounce of marijuana. Court documents say a video at the prison later showed Jasinski “hiding a small package in the garbage can right next to his desk” and an inmate picking it up.

Jasinski told police he had smuggled cigarettes for inmates on five or six occasions, but did not know the package contained marijuana.

Jasinski’s attorney, Melvin Fink, told the court Jasinski assumed full responsibility for bringing contraband into the facility and that the incident had caused his client the loss of his job and personal damage.

“I can only suggest that the humiliation and reflection on damage to his family is continuing and ongoing,” said Fink.

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Information from: Lebanon Valley News, https://www.vnews.com

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