Corrections Officer Accused Of Smuggling Contraband
A corrections officer is facing nearly 70 charges related to smuggling contraband into a Florida prison for money. 67 counts are related to the unlawful receipt of money for misconduct under the color of law.
Inmates have money that they use to make purchases. In this case, the prison found a discrepancy in one of the inmate’s transactions. The transaction was traced to a “Candy Williams”. However, the Candy Williams account traced back to the female corrections officer.
The arrest affidavit also makes salacious accusations against the corrections officer. It says that she was involved in a sexual relationship with one of the inmates. The inmate told police that the officer had provided him with her personal cellphone number. The relationship then became sexual, and the inmate reported that the two would have sex each time the officer worked.
In order to avoid detection, the correction officer created a fictitious account under Candy Williams but used personal information in the account that later identified her. She is also accused of smuggling 305 cigars in her private areas which sounds physically impossible since in most cases, there are only about 25 in a box.
Analyzing the allegations
In this case, the primary accusation against the officer involves unlawful transactions being conducted clandestinely. While it would certainly be unlawful for a corrections officer to have sexual intercourse with an inmate, she is facing one count each for every unlawful transaction that the government found. Each charge is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in Florida State prison. So, these are serious allegations that the defendant is facing and prison time seems like an eventuality, not a possibility.
The statute essentially makes it illegal for a public servant to accept money, request money, or exchange money for favoritism. When it comes to lobbying, that’s its own separate animal. Suffice it to say, you cannot lobby a prison guard, and the prison guard cannot place themselves in a position to accept money for special favors.
At this point, the inmate is facing a maximum of 1005 years on the misconduct charges alone. So, prosecutors are going quite hard at this particular corrections officer.
Chances for a plea
A plea seems likely in this case, but the way the charges are structured, the prosecutors have all the leverage. It won’t be difficult to establish that every transaction was made by an inmate to a guard, and since there’s no legal reason that transaction could have been made, the prosecution need only present evidence that the transaction happened.
Logistically, however, the charges should be capped to the amount of money, not the number of transactions. Morally, one transaction of $12,000 is not superior to 70 transactions totaling the same amount, so it sounds like the defendant is being overcharged.
Talk to a Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney
Faulkner Law Group, PLLC represents the interests of Tampa residents facing criminal charges. Call our office today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help.