CONCORD — A chaplain at the federal prison in Berlin has been charged with providing contraband, including Suboxone, marijuana and cellphones, to prisoners in exchange for money, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
Berlin resident Joseph Buenviaje, 53, appeared in U.S. District Court in Concord on Thursday to answer charges of bribery of a public official and providing contraband in prison, said Scott W. Murray, U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire.
Authorities allege Buenviaje also provided tobacco and other contraband items to inmates. A search of his office at the Federal Correctional Institution-Berlin uncovered tobacco, Suboxone strips and more than $5,000, which officials termed as proceeds.
Facebook has an account for a Joseph Buenviaje who lives in Berlin. The page said Joseph Buenviaje is a former sailor and studied religion at Bible Fellowship College. The last activity was in March.
“Public employees are expected to act with integrity,” Murray said in a statement. “In order to ensure that the public has confidence in its public servants, federal employees who violate the public trust by breaking the law will be investigated and prosecuted.”
This U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and the FCI-Berlin Office of the Special Investigative Supervisor investigated the case. Buenviaje was brought to court on a criminal complaint.