A former sergeant of the Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office (PSO) was sentenced to serve 15 months in prison today for accepting bribes in exchange for favors and referrals.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia made the announcement.
Melvin Hike, 65, of Portsmouth, Va., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen of the Eastern District of Virginia. Hike was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and to pay a $10,000 fine.
On Oct. 8, 2013, Hike pleaded guilty to conspiracy and federal programs bribery. According to court documents, throughout the relevant time period of 2008 to 2012, Hike was a PSO sergeant assigned to the warrant squad. Ulysses Stephenson, aka “Tugger,” was a bail bondsman based in Portsmouth whose income depended on the number of arrestee clients he served. At various times between 2008 and 2012, Stephenson gave Hike cash payments and other items of value, and in exchange, Hike referred arrestees to Stephenson as prospective clients. Stephenson previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy and federal programs bribery in connection with bribing Hike, and he was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Nov. 2, 2012.
This case was investigated by the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Monique Abrishami and Peter Mason of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy E. Cross of the Eastern District of Virginia.