Legal Aid Staffer Posing as Lawyer Caught Smuggling Marijuana into Rikers Island, Reports Say

Photo Credit: LinkedIn/ Tatyana King

A New York City woman who allegedly posed as a lawyer was caught trying to smuggle weed and tobacco to a Rikers Island inmate accused of attempted murder, sources told The Post.

Tatyana King, who is a staff member at the Legal Aid Society, New York’s largest legal aid nonprofit, was arrested at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Rikers Island while visiting detainee Shyanne Patterson, according to law-enforcement sources.

A drug-sniffing dog alerted officers after getting a whiff of King’s bag at the main gate. Correction officers discovered bags of marijuana and tobacco in her belongings. King was charged with

“illegal possession of contraband in a prison,”

authorities said. 

King reportedly showed up to the jail last month

“multiple times”

and signed in as a staff lawyer for the Legal Aid Society while visiting detainees. According to her LinkedIn she graduated from New York Law School last year and is an

“incoming staff attorney”

at the organization. On her page, she described her

“passion for advocacy for underrepresented and low-income communities”

and said her

“desire [is] to effectuate change and promote client’s needs drive me in my legal career.”

A spokesperson for Legal Aid Society told The Post,

“Tatyana King is a valued member of the Legal Aid Society team and she has our unwavering support”

but failed to communicate why she was at Rikers or whether she is a staff lawyer. 

“This is truly a sad incident, which undermines all the hard work we are doing to stabilize this department after years of neglect by the previous administration,”

said Correction Commissioner Louis Molina.

Patterson, 29, was arrested in the Bronx in September and charged with

“second-degree attempted murder, grand larceny, carrying a loaded firearm, assault, and other charges,”

records show. King was not working on Patterson’s case, according to sources.

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