Officials with the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office say a correctional officer at the Atlantic County Justice Facility is facing a second degree official misconduct charge.

Luis A. Mercado of Galloway Township - Photo: ACPO

Prosecutor Damon Tyner says 25-year-old Luis A. Mercado of Galloway Township, "used his position as a correctional police officer at the ACJF to smuggle contraband, which included narcotics and cell phones, into the Atlantic County Justice Facility and used his position therein to further a criminal organization."

A detention hearing was held on October 2nd and and at that time Mercado was released. Mercado is currently suspended without pay.

Mercado was charged following an investigation conducted by officials with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, the Atlantic County Justice Facility, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, according to Tyner. reports Mercado began working at the Atlantic County Justice Facility on January 1st and was paid $20,368 in the first six months of this year, according to New Jersey pension records.

The Atlantic County Justice Facility, located in Mays Landing, opened in 1985 and originally held almost 400 inmates. It has expanded over the years to now house around 1,000 inmates with jurisdiction over an additional 250 people who have been sentenced to various community programs.

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Travel back in time to a colorized Atlantic City circa 1919