A former Texas state parole officer was sentenced to 20 months in prison today for taking bribes from one of her assigned parolees in exchange for not reporting his parole violations, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.
Nichelle Derricks, 38, of Cedar Hill, Texas, pleaded guilty on Jan. 22, 2013, to one count of honest services wire fraud in the Northern District of Texas.
According to court documents, while serving as a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) parole officer, Derricks and one of her assigned parolees developed an improper relationship in which Derricks secretly used her official position with TDCJ to enrich herself and others by soliciting and receiving cash payments, gifts, furniture, household goods and items, food and beverages and other things of value from the parolee in exchange for favorable official action benefitting the parolee. The scheme was conducted without the authorization, knowledge or approval of TDCJ and contrary to TDCJ procedures and requirements.
Derricks admitted she repeatedly failed to report the parolee for violating the terms of his parole, including, among other things, failing to report him for traveling outside Texas without prior, written approval and for engaging in prohibited financial transactions.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Dallas Field Office, with assistance from the U.S. Secret Service and the TDCJ Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Edward P. Sullivan of the Justice Department Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.