Corrections Officers and Former Inmate Indicted on Federal Civil Rights Charges
WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced that a federal grand jury in Miami returned a three-count indictment on Sept. 11, 2009, charging former Dade Correctional Institution (DCI) officers Cordell J. White and Christopher W. Bonnet, current DCI Sergeant Obe D. L’Bert, and former DCI inmate Larry T. Williams with violating, and conspiring to violate, the civil rights of other inmates at DCI.
The indictment alleges that on Oct. 26, 2008, defendants L’Bert and White arranged for defendant-inmate Williams, aka Monster, to assault another inmate, identified in the indictment as D.T. L’Bert and White allegedly moved D.T. to Williams’s cell and waited outside of the cell while Williams assaulted and injured D.T. The indictment further alleges that on Nov. 1, 2007, defendants White and Bonnet arranged for Williams to assault another inmate, identified in the indictment as F.H., then escorted Williams to F.H’s cell and waited outside of the cell while Williams assaulted and injured F.H.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty. If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison on each of the three felony civil rights charges.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Florida State Department of Corrections, Inspector General’s Office; and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Osborne of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and Trial Attorney Edward Chung of the Civil Rights Division.