A Lake Ariel man has been arrested for smuggling cigarettes into the Federal prison outside of Waymart.


A Lake Ariel man has been arrested for smuggling cigarettes into the Federal prison outside of Waymart.

Dennis C. Pfannenschmidt, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced Oct. 29 that he has filed one-count Criminal Information against Jeremy D. Stark, 32, of Lake Ariel. Stark was a former government employee who served as a Correctional Officer at the United States Penitentiary-Canaan, located in Waymart.

USP-Canaan is a high security institution housing male inmates, with a satellite camp that houses male minimum security inmates, according to court documents. High security institutions, also known as United States Penitentiaries, have highly-secured perimeters featuring walls or reinforced fences, multiple- and single-occupant cell housing, the highest staff-to-inmate ratio, and close control of inmate movement. USP-Canaan is a smoke-free environment and inmates are not allowed to purchase or possess any kind of tobacco product within the institution, and that tobacco is considered contraband within the institution.

The Criminal Information noted that tobacco that is smuggled into the institution is sold by inmates to each other at a price of approximately $10 a cigarette and $1,000 a carton. According to court documents, beginning in May 2009 and continuing to August 7, 2009, Stark accepted more than $3,000 in bribes from inmates in return for his smuggling tobacco into the institution.

If convicted on the charge in the Criminal Information, Stark faces a maximum of 15 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gurganus is prosecuting the case.