Prosecutor: Jail Guard Charged with Providing Inmate with Cell Phone

A guard at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) has been charged with providing a cell phone to an inmate with whom she was allegedly in a relationship, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced on Thursday.

Latonya C. Johnson, 51, of Piscataway, who is a Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office correctional police officer assigned to the guard post, has been charged with a single count of second-degree knowingly providing an electronic communication device to an inmate.  

An investigation led by the MCPO Professional Responsibility & Bias Crime Bureau and assisted by the MCCI Investigations Division revealed that Johnson brought the cell phone into the jail sometime between May and October 2022, when she and the inmate were engaged in a romantic relationship, in order to be able to communicate with him more frequently.

Johnson was served the charge against her via summons on Monday, Jan. 23, pending an initial appearance tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7, in Monmouth County Superior Court.

“Sworn members of law enforcement are rightfully held to a higher standard of conduct, and when they fall short of that standard, straying into criminal behavior, swift and decisive action becomes imperative,” Prosecutor Santiago said.

— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office