United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
California Correctional Officer Sentenced for Accepting Bribes to Smuggle Cellphones into Prison
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Monday, July 23, 2012
Docket #: 2:11-cr-385-WBS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Bobby Joe Kirby, 54, of Reno, Nev., was sentenced today by United States District Judge William B. Shubb to 18 months in prison and a $15,635 forfeiture judgment, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, November 14, 2011, Kirby pleaded guilty to honest services wire fraud. Between June 2010 and June 2011, Kirby received $15,635 in wire transfers from inmates’ families and associates in return for smuggling cellphones and tobacco into the California Correctional Center in Susanville. When Kirby was arrested, he was in possession of wire receipts and a new cellphone. He confessed that he had been accepting $150 for each cellphone that he smuggled to an inmate.
In sentencing Kirby, Judge Shubb said the fact that Kirby received bribes distinguished his case from mere contraband smuggling. Kirby had suggested that his contraband smuggling to a minimum security facility was less serious than some other cases. In response, Judge Shubb told Kirby, “It’s not up to you to decide who gets a cell phone. There is a good reason why [prisoners] are not allowed to have cellphones.”
U.S. Attorney Wagner said, “A law enforcement officer represents a profound public trust. Over a hundred times for over year, Bobby Joe Kirby breached that for personal gain. What he did absolutely requires that he cross to the other side of the bars he once guarded.”
This case is the product of a joint investigation by the FBI and CDCR. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew D. Segal prosecuted the case.