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Indictment: Inmate In Burned-Body Case Got Drugs, More Into NJ Prison Through Sister, Guard

James Todd (aka "NuNu")
James Todd (aka "NuNu") Photo Credit: NJ DEPT OF CORRECTIONS

A New Jersey convict serving time for helping burn a shooting victim's body distributed drugs, mini-cellphones and other contraband to fellow inmates with help from his sister and a crooked correctional officer, authorities charged.

James "NuNu" Todd, 30, and his sister, Hassanah Todd, 32, paid the now-former officer to smuggle items that included synthetic cannabinoid -- otherwise known as "K2' -- into Northern State Prison in Newark, Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck said Tuesday.

Todd had been serving time there following his 2013 conviction for helping another man dispose of the body of 39-year-old Chad Butler of New Brunswick three years earlier.

Authorities said Todd admitted being in the Newark apartment when Butler was shot and killed, then helped clean up the place and carry the victim's body -- wrapped in plastic -- to a waiting car.

The remains were later found inside a burning Chevy Impala in Woodlawn Cemetery in Newark.

Todd wasn't due for parole until June 2023. That's out the window now.

An indictment returned by a state grand jury charges him and his sister, both of Newark, with conspiracy, official misconduct, bribery and drug possession, among other offenses, Bruck said.

The correctional officer, who wasn't named, has already pleaded guilty, the attorney general said -- and was presumably cooperating with prosecutors in exchange for sentencing leniency.

Todd, meanwhile, has been transferred to Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, records show.

Bruck's Office of Public Integrity Corruption Bureau worked with the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) Special Investigations Division to make the case, the attorney general said Tuesday.

“The smuggling of illegal drugs and communication devices to inmates poses a serious threat to security in our state prisons,” he said.

Deputy Attorneys General Travis Miscia, Michael McDonald, and John A. Nicodemo secured the indictment for the OPIA Corruption Bureau, Bruck said.

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