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Inmate gets more time for smuggling contraband into prison
Both prosecutors were present in Coos County Superior Court Thursday morning when Vincent Bitetto Jr. was led in handcuffs before Judge Peter H. Bornstein for sentencing. A jury earlier this year had convicted Bitetto on three counts: conspiracy to deliver articles to prisoners, delivery of articles to prisoners and attempted sale of a controlled drug, marijuana, intended for an inmate.
"I don't know who that knife was intended to cut; it wasn't to cut cheese," Murray told Bornstein.
"He's a young man," Bitetto's attorney, Joseph Garrison of the Public Defender's Office in Littleton, told Bornstein. "If he's going to be reformed, it's got to be now."
And the judge had a copy of Bitetto's criminal record in front of him.
Bornstein sentenced Bitetto to 3½ to 7 years in prison on the conspiracy charge, and 3½ to 7 years on the delivery charge, to be served consecutively, and in addition to the time he's already serving. Each term also carries an additional 150 days behind bars for each year of the minimum sentence.
Before handing down the sentence, the judge offered his own views on New Hampshire's problem with prison contraband, likening what goes on behind bars, particularly in Concord and Berlin, to conditions in "some crime-ridden neighborhoods in larger cities."
Afterward, Murray acknowledged Bornstein's attempt at providing a deterrent to others contemplating smuggling items to inmates.
"It's a starting place to do what we can about this problem," the county attorney said.
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