Former federal correctional officer pleads guilty to bribery and smuggling charges

Nickolas Herrera, a federal correctional officer at the Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) in Sheridan, Oregon, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, providing contraband in prison, and accepting a bribe as a public official.

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Accused of smuggling drugs and other contraband into prison, a former federal correctional officer recently pleaded guilty to conspiracy, providing contraband in prison, and accepting a bribe as a public official.

Between March 2019 and December 2019, Nickolas Herrera, a federal correctional officer at the Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) in Sheridan, Oregon, accepted cash bribes and digital payments in exchange for smuggling contraband, including Suboxone, marijuana, cigarettes, Yeezy brand designer sneakers, and a cell phone. Herrera used his position to introduce contraband into the facility for the benefit of select inmates including Donte Hunt, who is in custody pending an October 2022 trial on federal drug, gun, and money laundering charges.

Herrera obtained the narcotics and other items from Elizabeth McIntosh, 34, a non-incarcerated associate of Hunt’s. Herrera met McIntosh on multiple occasions to obtain the narcotics and other items for Hunt and accepted payment from McIntosh via transfers of cash and transfers using various digital payment services including PayPal, Apple Cash, and Square.

On September 24, 2020, a federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment charging Herrera, Hunt, and McIntosh with conspiracy and bribing a public official. Herrera and Hunt were additionally charged with providing contraband in prison.

On Thursday, Herrera pleaded guilty to conspiracy, providing contraband in prison, and accepting a bribe as a public official. Herrera and Hunt face maximum sentences of 25 years in prison, a $750,000 fine, and five years of supervised release. McIntosh faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, and five years of supervised release.

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