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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Delaware

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

State Corrections Officer Sentenced For Smuggling Drugs and Cell Phones Into the J.T. Vaughn Correctional Center

WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that Paul Hursey, age 49, of Dover, Delaware, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Leonard P. Stark to 30 months incarceration.   Hursey previously had pled guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right. 


According to statements made at sentencing and in documents filed in court, Hursey served as a Corrections Officer (“CO”) at the J.T. Vaughn Correctional Center (“JTVCC”) from 2013 through 2015.  CO Hursey smuggled drugs, including heroin, and 30 cell phones to 11 different inmates in return for money.  Hursey did so knowing those inmates were using the smuggled cell phones to orchestrate the smuggling of drugs and more phones into JTVCC.


Following the sentencing, Acting U.S. Attorney Weiss stated, “The defendant was charged with keeping JTVCC safe. Instead, he committed an abuse of trust that made the prison manifestly less safe - where his charge was to protect the inmates and his colleagues, the defendant’s prison smuggling endangered them.  My office is committed to investigating and prosecuting corrupt prison employees.  Today’s sentence should serve as a deterrent for correction officers who would smuggle contraband into a prison.”


"Few things threaten our society more than public servants who betray their oath for personal gain," said Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the FBI's Baltimore Division. "The FBI in Delaware, along with our state and federal partners, are sending a strong message today that we will not tolerate corruption in the prison system which tarnishes the good work of the dedicated and committed correctional employees."


This matter resulted from a joint investigation conducted by the FBI and the Delaware Department of Correction.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Edmond Falgowski.

Public Corruption
Updated January 3, 2018