MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) - A civilian employee at the Nassau County, N.Y., jail could find himself behind bars after being charged with stealing more than $13,000 worth of underwear intended for indigent prisoners.

John Cofield, 39, of Uniondale, was arrested Thursday on one count of third-degree grand larceny, said Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon.

Cofield, who worked as a labourer at the jail in East Meadow, is accused of regularly stealing packages of underwear and socks over the last two years. The 2,284 packages of underwear were intended for distribution to both male and female indigent prisoners, Dillon said.

"We estimate the total value of the clothing he stole at $13,704," the prosecutor said.

Cofield, who pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead, could face up to seven years in prison if convicted. He was released without bail.

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