News and Press Releases

Former Training Officer Indicted for Bribery, Contraband in Federal Prison

September 26, 2012

BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted a former training officer at the Federal Correctional Institution in Talladega for bribery and introducing contraband into the federal prison, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Teresa Gulotta-Powers, special agent in charge of the Miami Field Office of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, announced.

BELINDA KEITH, 41, of Talladega, was charged in a two-count indictment filed in U. S. District Court.

"A prison official who solicits bribes and brings contraband to prisoners corrupts the underpinnings of our penal system," Vance said. "Those crimes will be punished."

Count one of the indictment charges Keith with bribery between October 2010 and October 2011, by corruptly demanding and accepting currency from inmates at FCI, Talladega, for bringing tobacco products into the prison. Count two charges Keith illegally brought tobacco products into the prison, in violation of prison rules, during the same time period.

The bribery charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Introducing contraband into a prison is a misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The case was investigated by special agents of the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice, and will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank M. Salter.

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





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