Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola showed mercy in the first sentencing in the case of Department of Corrections officers involved in smuggling contraband into DOC in 2017.
Former DOC officer Shane Cruz pleaded guilty one year ago to criminal facilitation of delivery of a scheduled two controlled substance and official misconduct admitting to his role in the DOC contraband case involving 13 other defendants.
In court, he was sentenced to three years incarceration all of which was suspended.
Sukola, instead, ordered three years of probation, taking into account that Cruz has no history of prior criminal activity, he was the lowest-ranking officer in the case, and he has completed stipulations in the plea agreement without being ordered to by the court.
Sukola told Cruz that she was giving him the same deal being given to other individuals in the case whose offenses are greater than his.
PNC asked: “Shane would you like to make a statement regarding your sentencing you are the first to be sentenced in this case?”
“Nope,” Cruz answered.
Although he declined to comment following the sentencing, in court Cruz told Judge Sukola that he brought in drugs to DOC for an inmate on three occasions because of their relationship, further stating that he did so under the direction of his immediate supervisor Fermin Maratita.
His attorney, Jeffery Moots, told the court that Cruz is in a worse situation than other officers charged in the case such as former internal affairs head honcho Jeff Limo and Maratita, whose cases were dealt with as misdemeanors, pleading guilty to official misconduct and having the drug charges dropped.
Cruz disclosed to Sukola that the promotion of major prison contraband involving DOC officers was an ongoing activity at the prison prior to his employment.