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Former exec transferred to federal detention

Accused corporate swindler David Brooks has been transferred from the Nassau County jail to a federal detention facility in Queens after correction officers found he was attempting to smuggle prescription tranquilizers into the East Meadow facility, according to several sources familiar with the situation.

Brooks' lead attorney, Kenneth Ravenell, said that he was aware that his client was transferred to the Federal Detention Center in Springfield Gardens and that a situation had arisen over his alleged possession of drugs. But Ravenell declined to comment further.

Brooks is on trial in federal court in Central Islip for allegedly looting $190 million from his former Westbury-based body-armor manufacturing company, DHB Industries, and its shareholders.

Eugene Corcoran, the chief U.S. marshal for the Eastern District, and jail spokeswoman Elizabeth Loconsolo both said the transfer occurred but declined to elaborate.

Nassau correction officers at the jail found that Brooks had a number of Ativan pills in his possession when he was searched after returning Wednesday from trial in the federal court, the sources said. Ativan is a tranquilizer similar to Valium.

It is against jail policy to allow an inmate to possess drugs that are not distributed by prison staff.

Sources said that it is usual for federal prisoners on trial in Central Islip to be housed in a wing of the Nassau County jail because of its closeness to that federal courthouse.

But there is an understanding between federal and county officials that federal prisoners who are considered to have violated county jail rules can be transferred to a more distant federal detention center, the sources said.

It is not clear how Brooks obtained the Ativan, the sources said. He and his attorneys said his doctor has prescribed various medications, including tranquilizers. However, Brooks and his lawyers complain that jail officials have declined to regularly issue the medications to the defendant.

Testimony from prosecution witnesses in Brooks' trial is scheduled to resume Monday.

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