Police: Guard tried to smuggle pot into jail via pastries

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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) – Leave the cannoli, take the marijuana.

A Nassau County correction officer was arraigned Thursday on charges he tried to smuggle marijuana into the jail – stashed inside Italian pastries on Christmas Eve.

Rocco Bove, 24, of Westbury, was arrested Wednesday following an investigation into the discovery of the pot inside the pastry box.

He allegedly dropped off the box for an unidentified inmate, but when officers checked the contents of the package, they found the marijuana, along with rolling papers, matches and a flint pad, said Lt. Kevin Smith, a Nassau County police spokesman.

Smith said the marijuana and other items were packed inside small plastic bags that were then inserted inside the cannoli. Police believe Bove removed the cream filling inside the tube-shaped shells of fried pasta, secreted the contraband in the shells and then returned the cream filling.

Smith portrayed the amount of marijuana as “enough so someone could have a little personal consumption around Christmastime.”

Bove was suspended without pay immediately after the discovery but was not arrested until Wednesday, following a determination by the forensic evidence lab confirming the substance as marijuana.

He pleaded not guilty to promoting prison contraband and unlawful possession of marijuana at his arraignment in First District Court. Bail was set at $10,500 cash or $20,500 bond.

His attorney did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

Lt. Michael Golio of the Correction Department’s legal affairs office said Bove was hired in April 29, 2005, and was assigned to a security platoon. He said the department would not comment on the arrest, but noted it was cooperating with investigators.

The intended recipient of the marijuana was not immediately identified, but Smith said the investigation was continuing.

A statement from the correction officers’ union said it is conducting its own investigation. “The Sheriff Officers Association takes all incidents of improper conduct very seriously,” the statement said. Approximately 1,100 officers oversee about 1,800 inmates at the facility in East Meadow.

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