FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
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Former Corrections Officer Pleads Guilty to Bribery Charge
Employee Took Cash to Smuggle Items Into D.C. Jail
WASHINGTON – April Johnston, a former corrections officer, pled guilty today to a federal bribery charge for accepting money to bring contraband into a District of Columbia correctional facility, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Johnston, 42, pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Robert L. Wilkins scheduled sentencing for June 3, 2013. The charge carries a maximum statutory penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine. Johnston also is subject to a forfeiture judgment of $2,500.
According to the government’s evidence, at the time of the offense, Johnston was employed as a corrections officer for the District of Columbia Jail and had met with individuals inside the jail to discuss the possibility of smuggling contraband to an inmate. In September 2011, she made a telephone call to a person who she believed was an associate of an inmate. In fact, however, that person was an undercover agent with the FBI.
Johnston met the undercover agent on Sept. 28, 2011 at her residence in Maryland. During the meeting, the undercover agent paid her $1,000 and gave her a computer thumb drive to smuggle into the jail. She agreed to use her position as a corrections officer to smuggle the item to the inmate in return for the money, and she later did so.
On Oct. 5, 2011, Johnston again met the undercover agent at her residence. This time, the agent paid her $1,500 along with a thumb drive and mobile USB flash drive to smuggle into the jail. Once again, she smuggled the items into the jail in return for the money.
Johnston is the second corrections employee to plead guilty to a bribery charge in recent months. In December 2012, Daishawn Goodson, a former corrections officer employed by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), pled guilty to taking money to smuggle contraband into the District’s Correctional Treatment Facility. She is awaiting sentencing.
In announcing today’s guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen and Assistant Director in Charge Parlave commended the work of the agents who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the District of Columbia Department of Corrections Office of Investigative Services. Finally, they acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Nicole Wattelet and Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B Waxman, who is prosecuting the case.