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Pietro Ioia, prison guard, handcuffed

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Pietro Ioia - Picture by Ansa FotoPietro Ioia – Picture by Ansa Foto

Drugs and cell phones were smuggled into Poggioreale prison. As part of an investigation carried out by the Carabinieri and coordinated by the Naples Public Prosecutor’s Office, Pietro Ioia, the guarantor of the detainees of the Municipality of Naples, was arrested, along with seven other people.

Six ended up in prison and two under house arrest, as part of various investigations into criminal association offenses aimed at abusive access to devices adapted for communication, illicit trafficking and possession of drugs and corruption.

The investigations were carried out from June 2021 to January 2022, and made it possible to outline the existence of an association of criminals, anchored in Naples. As mentioned, among the participants of the association there would be Pietro Ioia, as well as some inmates of the Poggioreale prison.

Drugs and cell phones in prison: the role of Pietro Ioia

According to the investigators, the promoter of the group, via Ioia, would have delivered to the detainees participating in the association, mobile phones and drugs which were then sold to the other detainees, creating a veritable illegal trade.

Ioia would then have been the intermediary, because by using his role he had free access to the prisons. And in exchange for a fee, he delivered cell phones and drugs. According to the investigations, the guarantor took advantage of the interviews to verify the conditions of the detainees in prison, to make the required deliveries.

The money was paid into rechargeable cards used by a woman and then shared with the other members of the group. The criminal association, a crime disputed by all suspects, was made up of some inmates and their wives, as well as Pietro Ioia.

Drug trafficking in Poggioreale prison

The investigations revealed the phenomenon of drug trafficking, in particular hashish and cocaine, worth several thousand euros, in the Poggioreale prison. The management of the prison institute and the prison police cooperated in the investigations during the observation phase of the interviews.

Who is Pietro Ioia, the prisoner guarantor of the Municipality of Naples

Pietro Ioia, 63, is trained as a drug dealer and was jailed to serve a 22-year sentence. For a long time, he seemed to have abandoned this environment and was committed to the rights of prisoners in prison.

In December 2019, Luigi De Magistris, then mayor of Naples, I appointed Guarantor of the rights of people deprived or limited in individual freedom. Ioia also wrote a book about Cell Zero, that is, a room in Poggioreale prison that was allegedly used for beatings and violence against inmates. The Naples public prosecutor’s office investigated cell zero at length, but its existence has not been established.

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