You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Former North Carolina Correctional Officer Sentenced To 5 Years Imprisonment

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announces that GREGORY DUSTIN GOULDMAN was sentenced today to 60 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release.


On August 19, 2015, a federal grand jury in Raleigh returned an Indictment charging GOULDMAN, a former Sergeant in the High Security Maximum Control Unit (“HCON”) at Polk Correctional Institution (“Polk”) in Butner, North Carolina, with extorting funds from inmates in exchange for delivery of various contraband items.


GOULDMAN, who is 33 years of age, was employed as a Correctional Officer at Polk from 2005, through May of 2015. From 2012, through September of 2014, GOULDMAN held the position of Sergeant and worked as a supervisor in the HCON unit at Polk. The HCON unit was opened in 1998 to serve as North Carolina’s supermax prison for “the state’s most violent and assaultive offenders.” GOULDMAN misused his high level position of public trust to enter arrangements under which he smuggled tobacco, marijuana, cellular telephones, and packages of AA batteries (often used to fashion a device for charging the cellular telephones) to HCON inmates in exchange for electronic transfers or cash. The cellular telephones were used by the inmates to communicate with persons outside of prison and to transfer funds through the use of various internet accounts, such as green dot. GOULDMAN’s supervisory position in HCON provided him with the ability to meet with inmates without other correctional officers present. This privacy allowed GOULDMAN the freedom to negotiate prices and ultimately deliver the contraband items to the HCON inmates without witnesses. After being transferred out of HCON in September of 2014, GOULDMAN continued to smuggle contraband into Polk for additional inmates.


The United States Attorney’s Office and FBI’s investigation into Polk was prompted by the circumstances relating to the kidnapping conspiracy orchestrated by defendant Kelvin Melton through the use of a cellular telephone in his cell in HCON.


The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dennis Duffy and Leslie Cooley.

Updated February 1, 2017