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Two Correctional Officers and Maryland Woman Arrested for Accepting Bribes to Smuggle Contraband to Inmates

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 01, 2009
  • District of Columbia (202) 252-6933

WASHINGTON—Two correctional officers and a Maryland woman were arrested today on warrants charging that they accepted bribes to smuggle contraband in to inmates in the D.C. Correctional Treatment Facility, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Joseph Persichini, Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Correctional Officer Thomas Ford, 35, of Washington, D.C. and Renee Braxton, 44, of Silver Spring, Maryland, were charged in criminal complaints with conspiring to commit bribery between October 2008 and March 2009. The warrant and complaint, unsealed today, allege that Ford and Braxton accepted cash in exchange for smuggling cell phones, an iPod and a charger in to a cooperating inmate in the D.C. Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF), which is operated by the Corrections Corporation of America under contract with the District of Columbia Department of Corrections. Correctional Officer Quincy Hayes, 32, of Alexandria, Virginia, was charged separately in a criminal complaint with accepting a cash bribe on June 5, 2009 to smuggle in an iPod to a cooperating inmate in the CTF.

All three defendants were presented today on the charges before U.S. Magistrate John Facciola of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The defendants were released on their personal recognizance. Preliminary hearings for the three defendants have been set for December 21, 2009.

The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit bribery is 5 years’ incarceration and the maximum penalty for bribery is 20 years’ incarceration.

“The criminal justice system and the residents of the District of Columbia place a significant measure of trust in Correctional Officers and rightly deserve, and should demand, ethical Correctional Officers,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Phillips. “Whenever anyone violates the public trust and breaks the law, we will prosecute them vigorously.”

In announcing the arrests, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillips and FBI Assistant Director in Charge Persichini commended the outstanding investigative work of FBI Agents in the Washington Field Office. They also acknowledged the efforts of U.S. Attorney’s Office paralegal Maggie McCabe, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Hibarger, who is prosecuting these cases.

A criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant violated the law. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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