Former Federal Corrections Officer Who Accepted Bribes Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison
CONCORD, N.H. – A former corrections officer at the Federal Corrections Institution in Berlin, New Hampshire, Latoya Sebree, 37, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for accepting bribes from inmates, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced.
According to court documents, the criminal investigation began when law enforcement agents received information that Sebree was providing marijuana and other controlled substances, cell phones, tobacco and other contraband to inmates in exchange for cash payments. Thereafter, during communications that were monitored by the law enforcement agents, Sebree agreed to deliver a cell phone and a quantity of tobacco to in an inmate in exchange for $2,000. The items were shipped in a package to Sebree’s post office box. Sebree removed the package from the post office and then drove to her former residence in Milan, New Hampshire. When investigators went to Sebree’s home to execute a search warrant, she gave them the $2,000 and the cell phone. While being questioned by law enforcement agents, Sebree admitted that she had provided controlled substances, cell phones, and other prohibited items to inmates over a several week period, in exchange for cash. During the search of Sebree’s home, investigators seized Suboxone strips, a heat sealer, tobacco in various stages of packaging, as well as other evidence.
Sebree pleaded guilty on September 5, 2017 to accepting bribes. After serving her sentence, Sebree will be on supervised release for one year.
“The public deserves honest service from its civil servants,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “This officer betrayed the public trust and undermined the safety and integrity of a federal prison facility by taking bribes to smuggle contraband into a prison. This type of conduct cannot be tolerated. Those who attempt to profit from their public positions will be prosecuted aggressively.”
“The smuggling or cell phones and drugs into our federal prison system puts correctional officers and staff, inmates, and the community at risk,” stated Ronald G. Gardella, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), Office of Inspector General’s New York Field Office. “The OIG will continue to work with it law enforcement partners to investigate and bring to justice any DOJ employee involved in prison contraband smuggling.”
“It’s very troubling that Ms. Sebree sought to profit from her position by accepting bribes from inmates and providing contraband for cash,” said Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Boston Division (FBI). “Greed and corruption have no place in our criminal justice system, and the FBI is committed to identifying corrupt public employees like Sebree, who undermine the confidence and trust expected from those in public service.”
The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case, with support from FCI-Berlin’s Office of the Special Investigative Supervisor. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Kinsella.