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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Jefferson County Jail Supervisor Found Guilty of providing Prisoner with Cell Phone

BEAUMONT, Texas – A jury has found a 43-year-old Beaumont, Texas man guilty of federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.

Donald Roy Kelly was found guilty by a jury of providing a prison inmate with a prohibited object and bribery of a public official following a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.  The jury reached its verdict around 6:30 pm on Dec. 14, 2016.

               According to information presented in court, Kelly was an evening shift supervisory corrections officer at the LaSalle Unit (downtown Jefferson County jail) in late 2014 and early 2015.  Juan Saenz-Tamez, then leader of the Gulf Cartel was brought to the LaSalle Unit pending his trial for federal drug trafficking offenses in October 2014.  Once at the LaSalle Unit and in the custody of Kelly, Saenz-Tamez was approached by Kelly and corruptly offered a cell phone to the inmate in exchange for money.  Kelly engaged other individuals to assist him in the scheme.  A cell phone was purchased by another individual and given to Kelly who provided it to Saenz-Tamez.  Additionally, fast food was brought into the LaSalle Unit at Kelly’s direction for Saenz-Tamez.  Saenz-Tamez had individuals attempt money transfers to Kelly in payment for his corrupt acts.  Ultimately the cell phone was seized from Saenz-Tamez on Jan. 3, 2015.  Kelly was indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2016.

                Under federal statutes, Kelly faces up to 15 years in federal prison at sentencing.  The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress and is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.  A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.               

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshals Service, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Craft and Christopher T. Tortorice.

Updated December 15, 2016