The investigation began over two years ago when convicted hit man Kevin Granato sat in visitation at LSCI_Allenwood bragging about a toddler he called "my son." The scene would not have been unusual except that Granato has been locked up since 1988. Ellen Cella, the U.S. attorney who prosecuted Granato, said, "If he has a child less than 10 years old then something funky happened."
A federal agent, posing as a girlfriend of one of the prisoners, approached Kemmerer with an offer of $5,000 to smuggle a sperm kit out of the prison. Kemmerer accepted the money and was arrested and charged with bribery.
"We have a zero tolerance policy for staff misconduct," said Edward Berry, spokesman for the prison. He pointed out that Swineford quit months ago because he was believed to be "very close" to members of organized crime. Swineford is suspected of smuggling various types of contraband into the prison, including food, alcohol, and sperm kits.
Altogether, at least five mobsters are believed to have fathered children while behind bars. Investigators found that in May, 2000, George "Georgie Neck" Zappola, a capo in the Luchese family, bribed a guard to smuggle his sperm to a fertility clinic in Manhattan. Zappola, who later transferred to Allenwood, is believed to have given the idea to his friends, including Granato.
Mark James, another guard at Allenwood, is charged with selling information about other prisoners to Frank Pontillo, a soldier for the Colombo family. Altogether, three guards are alleged to have accepted tens of thousands of dollars for providing a variety of favors to the prison mobsters.
Indictments are also expected against several LSCI_Allenwood prisoners who are members of the Luchese and Columbo crime families. It is possible that the mothers of the children will also be indicted.
Sources: New York Post ;Associated Press .
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