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Press Release

Correctional Officer and Inmate Sentenced to Prison for Bribery and Smuggling Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Texas

TEXARKANA, Texas – A correctional officer and federal inmate have been sentenced for a bribery conspiracy in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei today.

“EDTX is committed to the principle that no person, regardless of their title, status, or position, is above the law,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. “This corrupt law enforcement officer exploited his position of public trust and endangered the inmates and staff at FCI Texarkana.  This office will work tirelessly to protect the trust and confidence that East Texans have placed in their law enforcement community.”

James Thompson, a 55-year-old Titus County, Texas, man, pleaded guilty on August 5, 2020, to conspiring to commit bribery and was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Robert W. Schroeder III.  Judge Schroeder also ordered Thompson to forfeit $17,200.00 in U.S. currency and cash proceeds from his scheme.

Gilbert Gomez, a 54-year-old federal inmate, pleaded guilty on August 31, 2020, to conspiring to commit bribery and was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison by Judge Schroeder. Judge Schroeder also ordered Gomez to forfeit $15,000 in cash proceeds from his scheme.

According to information presented in court, beginning before August 2019 and continuing through January 2020, Thompson, a federal correctional officer, and Gomez, a federal inmate, engaged in a scheme to smuggle contraband into the Federal Correctional Institution located in Texarkana, Texas. During the scheme, Thompson received cash bribe payments and prison contraband at a post office box under the alias of “Bobby Brown.” Thompson then smuggled the contraband into FCI Texarkana when he entered the facility to go to work.  Gomez coordinated the scheme from inside the institution, where he arranged cash bribe payments and delivered the smuggled contraband to other inmates. Thompson and Gomez received more than $30,000.00 total for smuggling contraband into FCI Texarkana.

This case was investigated by the Dallas Field Office of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, the Fort Worth Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Bureau of Prisons, Special Investigative Services.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan R. Hornok.

Updated March 5, 2021

Public Corruption