N.H. Prison Chaplain Accused of Smuggling Drugs, Cell Phones

Nov 16, 2018

A prison chaplain in Berlin is facing federal charges after prosecutors say he smuggled contraband into a federal correctional facility.

Joseph Buenviaji, 53, appeared in federal court in Concord on Thursday, where he faces bribery and contraband charges. 

According to an affidavit, Buenviaji cooperated with Justice Department investigators, admitting that he smuggled cell phones, marijuana, Suboxone and ketamine into the men’s federal prison in Berlin.

In exchange, Buenviaji received approximately $15,000 in cash.

“Public employees are expected to act with integrity,” said U.S. Attorney Scott Murray in a statement.  “We will always be alert to instances of criminal misconduct by federal employees.”

Court paperwork shows that investigators were tipped off to the operation by a cooperating inmate, who is not identified.

Buenviaji waived a probable cause hearing and was ordered released by a magistrate judge.