Breaking: Two Corrections Officers Busted On Bribery Charges
The U.S. Attorney's Office has just filed arrest warrants for two corrections officers and a civilian accomplice on bribery charges. The officers worked at the Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF). The officers accepted bribes in return for smuggling cigarettes bundled in duct tape, cellphones, and an iPod Touch to inmates at the jail.
According to court documents, the investigation appears to have begun when an inmate notified authorities that contraband was being smuggled into the facility in October 2008. The inmate agreed to cooperate with federal authorities in the investigation.
In November 2008, the inmate learned that Officer Quincy Hayes was smuggling in items for other inmates, according to court records. The court records state: "The [inmate] eventually gained Hayes' trust such that Hayes was willing to smuggle contraband into the CTF for [the inmate]."
On March 30, 2009, Hayes got a call from an undercover F.B.I. agent posing as the inmate's brother. Law enforcement recorded the call. During the call, Hayes tells the undercover officer that he wanted $600 to smuggle in the contraband.
Undercover cop: "Dude, you for real?"
Hayes: "(Laughs) So, I mean...I...hey, I was like that's, that's generous...you know, you know."
Undercover cop: "Dude."
Hayes: "I'll, I'll work it out with you know...with about four. I mean, I would've as two...it's two for two, right?"
They eventually settle on $250 two smuggle two iPod touches into the jail. Then it became just one iPod touch for $250 for just the cooperating inmate. On June 5, 2009, Hayes met with the undercover cop in the parking lot of RFK Stadium. The cop gave Hayes $300 to smuggle in the iPod Touch. The meeting was captured on videotape.
The iPod was eventually confiscated along with a cellphone.
Between October 2008 and March 2009, Thomas Ford, a corrections officer at CTF, conspired with Renee Braxton, a security guard at the National Building Museum, to smuggle into the facility two cellphones and two battery powered phone charges, a pack of cigarettes, and a lighter—for very small bribe payments of $100 and $50.
Braxton allegedly helped facilitate the bribe scheme. At one point, agents followed her from the National Building Musuem to the correction facility parking lot where she was to meet up with an undercover agent. She started to freak out. The meeting was recorded:
Braxton: "I dropped it off. I've got this big ole police van...mobile behind me. I don't know what the heck...where the heck I'm going. I'm making all kinds of crazy turns and stuff. I gave it to him and um...he said, he'll get them a charger."
Undercover Cop: "Oh, he will?"
Braxton: "Yeah, that's what he said."
Undercover Cop: "Cool, cool."
Braxton: "He said he will take care of it."
According to the complaint, three days later Ford gave the cell phone to the cooperating inmate inside CTF.
At a meeting on Feb. 10, 2009, the undercover cop met with Ford in the CTF parking lot. The officer gave Ford an iPod adapter for the charger, "cigarettes rolled in duct tape and placed in a plastic baggie" and a lighter. The conversation, again, was recorded:
Undercover cop: "50 dollars for a pack of cigarettes?"
Undercover cop: "Jesus Christ Almighty"
Ford: "The risk goes up...trying to just get it through the front door...That's the going price."
Ford, Hayes, and Braxton have all been charged.
*follow me on Twitter.