“At the times of these offenses, the correctional officers could take their own personal items into the prison,” said Adams, the No. 2 personal in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, which includes Orlando, Tampa and Ocala. “Now, anyone who goes into the facility is subject to being searched.”"It was all about money, all about greed. It was about making what looked like easy money.”A federal indictment unsealed in Ocala on Thursday charged correctional officer Luis Viera, 41, of Tavares, with providing 12 cartons of cigarettes, two packs of cigars and a knife to inmates in August and September 2006 in exchange for $4,100 in bribes.In a separate indictment, prison treatment specialst and counselor Kendra Russell, 41, of Tavares, was charged providing marijuana to inmates in mid-2005 for $948.Corrections officer William Blanton, 48, of Ocala, was charged in a criminal complaint with having sexual intercourse with a female inmate for an unspecified time through Dec. 15, 2005.All of the officers were named in indictments — three unsealed this week — or complaints quietly filed over the past few months in U.S. District Court in Ocala. None of the correctional officers are currently are working at the complex. Some have resigned and others are on leave pending the outcomes of the case, Adams said.The probe was conducted by the FBI, the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.Coleman, the nation’s largest federal prison complex, houses 7,482 inmates in five facilities ranging from low- to high-security. At least five of the guards charged worked in high-security facilities, court records show.
Federal correction officers busted during probe www.privateofficer.com
Sumter County Jan 25 2007
Federal corrections workers at the sprawling Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Sumter County accepted bribes up to $20,000 for smuggling cigarettes, drugs, cellular phones and even a knife to prison inmates, a prosecutor said Friday.At a press conference in Ocala, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Adams said the arrests stemmed from probes dating back to late 2005, which revealed five correctional officers, a counselor and a cook at the complex who were paid to bring contraband into the prisons. The girlfriend of one of the correctional officers and an inmate also were charged.A sixth correctional officer pleaded guilty earlier this month to attempting to smuggle cellular phones and cigarettes into the prison. A seventh correctional officer was charged with having sex with a female inmate through 2005.