HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Leave the cannoli, take the marijuana.
A Nassau County correction officer was arraigned Thursday on charges that he tried to smuggle marijuana to a jail inmate — stashed inside cream-filled Italian pastries.
Rocco Bove, 24, was arrested Wednesday following an investigation into the discovery of marijuana inside a cannoli box that police say he had dropped off for an unidentified inmate on Christmas Eve. When officers checked the box, they found the marijuana, along with rolling papers, matches and a flint pad, police said.
The marijuana was actually hidden inside the cannoli, and there was "enough so someone could have a little personal consumption around Christmastime," Nassau County Police spokesman Kevin Smith said.
Police believe Bove removed the cream filling in the tube-shaped shells of fried pasta, stashed the pot inside in plastic bags, then refilled the shells, he said.
Bove, who was suspended without pay, pleaded not guilty Thursday to promoting prison contraband and unlawful possession of marijuana. His bail was set at $10,500 cash or $20,500 bond.
His attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Lt. Michael Golio of the Correction Department's legal affairs office said Bove was hired in April 2005 and was assigned to a security platoon. He said the department would not comment on the arrest but noted it was cooperating with ongoing investigations.
A statement from the correction officers' union said it is conducting its own investigation. "The Sheriff Officers Association takes all incidents of improper conduct very seriously," the statement said. Approximately 1,100 officers oversee about 1,800 inmates at the facility in East Meadow.