Former prison officials plead guilty to bribery scheme

“Our Office will continue to seek equal justice under the law and hold accountable government officials who corrupt their oaths and betray the public’s trust.”

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Accused of smuggling drugs and other contraband into a federal prison, a former case manager and a correctional officer recently pleaded guilty to accepting bribes.

Between March 2018 and March 2019, Stephen Taylor, then a case manager at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Petersburg in Prince George County, Virginia, received over $17,000 in Walmart-2-Walmart transfers from Kim Williams, the mother of an inmate named Dontay Cox. In exchange for the bribes, Taylor received contraband, including Suboxone, marijuana, cellular telephones, and tobacco, from Cox’s girlfriend, Rameesha Smith, and smuggled the illicit items into the federal prison.

In addition to Taylor, former correctional officer Shanice Bullock received bribes from Cox’s mother to facilitate the introduction of Suboxone, marijuana, heroin, cigarettes, and cellular telephones into FCI Petersburg. Bullock was also paid via wire transfers from Walmart-2-Walmart.

In November 2020, Taylor and Bullock were indicted along with Williams, Cox, Smith, and another inmate at FCI Petersburg with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Additionally, Taylor, Bullock, Williams, and Cox were charged with multiple counts of offering bribes to and receiving bribes by public officials.

On February 9, Bullock pleaded guilty to her role in the prison bribery scheme. On Tuesday, Taylor pleaded guilty to accepting bribes as well.

“Stephen Taylor and Shanice Bullock flagrantly violated their positions of trust as federal prison officials by engaging in a bribery scheme inside FCI Petersburg instead of safeguarding the security of the facility and protecting its inmates,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Our Office will continue to seek equal justice under the law and hold accountable government officials who corrupt their oaths and betray the public’s trust.”

Taylor is currently scheduled to be sentenced on August 6, and he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Bullock is scheduled to be sentenced on August 11 and faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

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