News and Press Releases

Federal Corrections Officer Indicted for Accepting a Bribe and Smuggling Contraband into Atlanta’s Federal Prison

December 10, 2012

Holsey Allegedly Received Money from an Inmate in
Exchange for Cigarettes and a Cell Phone

ATLANTA - Kenneth Holsey, 45, of Riverdale, Georgia, was arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge Justin S. Anand on federal charges of accepting a bribe while serving as a corrections officer at the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, providing cigarettes and a cell phone to a federal prison inmate, and making false statements to federal agents. A federal grand jury indicted Holsey on these charges on November 27, 2012.  Holsey has been released on bond.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “Public officials who use their positions for their own financial benefit breach the public’s trust.  In this case, this corrections officer’s duties were to maintain the safety, security, and good order of Atlanta’s federal prison facility.  Instead of fulfilling his duties, he allegedly abandoned his responsibilities in exchange for money, placing the safety of the prison staff, inmates, and the surrounding community at risk.”

Special Agent in Charge T.M. Gulotta-Powers of the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General, Miami Field Office stated, “The integrity of our federal prison system depends upon the honesty and commitment to duty of correctional personnel.  The DOJ OIG will continue to partner with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices to aggressively pursue breaches of those duties by correctional officers who put their own financial gain above the security of our institutions.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: Holsey is a 20-year employee of the Federal Bureau of Prisons who, at the time of the offenses charged in the indictment, worked as a corrections officer at the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia.  The indictment alleges that, between May and September 2011, Holsey accepted a cash bribe from an inmate housed at the federal prison, and in exchange smuggled a cell phone into the prison for the inmate’s use.  The federal inmate paid Holsey by arranging for Holsey to meet his girlfriend at a designated location outside the prison.  Holsey also smuggled cartons of cigarettes into the prison for the inmate during that same time period.

In early 2012, while investigating Holsey, federal agents recorded conversations between Holsey and the inmate where they discussed the possibility of smuggling a small quantity of marijuana into the federal prison.  During those conversations, Holsey emphasized that the inmate would need to pay him for the marijuana in advance, and also obtained contact information for the inmate’s girlfriend for purposes of making payment arrangements. 

The charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.  In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding, but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General.

Assistant United States Attorney Nekia S. Hackworth is prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Information Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is




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