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Press Release

Former Federal Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty to Bribery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

Peoria, Ill. – A former employee of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, Melissa Gilmer, 41, of Tremont, Ill, waived indictment today and entered a plea of guilty to an information charging her with the offense of bribery, as announced by Jim Lewis, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois.  Gilmer, of the 500 block of W. Tazewell St., appeared today before U.S. District Judge Joe B. McDade. Sentencing has been scheduled on Mar. 30, 2016.

During today’s hearing and according to court documents, Gilmer admitted that during her employment as a correctional officer at Federal Correctional Institution – Pekin, Ill., she provided contraband tobacco and a cellular telephone to an inmate.  Gilmer admitted that in 2013, from August to December, she received approximately $6,000 from the family of an inmate in exchange for providing the contraband to the inmate.

According to court documents, the investigation of Gilmer began after she was observed allowing an inmate access to what appeared to be a cell phone. The inmate’s cell and area to which he had access were searched, and tobacco, a cell phone, and a lighter were recovered.  A forensic examination of the cell phone established that calls and text messages were made and received from both Gilmer and the inmate’s family.

The statutory maximum penalty for the offense of bribery is 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. 

The case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Darilynn J. Knauss.  The charge is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General.

Updated December 16, 2015