Two Former Bureau of Prisons Officials Sentenced for Bribery Scheme at Federal Prison in Petersburg
RICHMOND, Va. – Former Bureau of Prisons (BOP) correctional officers at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Petersburg, Stephen Taylor and Shanice Bullock, were sentenced today for their respective roles in a bribery scheme that allowed for the introduction of contraband into the prison by FCI Petersburg inmate Dontay Cox.
“Taylor and Bullock blatantly abused their positions of authority as federal correctional officers to enrich themselves at the expense of the public, the safety of the prison they were responsible for protecting, and the dedicated Bureau of Prison employees with whom they served,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Instead of ensuring that the inmates of the prison served their sentences in a safe and lawful manner, these defendants violated their oaths as sworn officers and joined a criminal enterprise that was driven by their greed. As this prosecution demonstrates, we will not tolerate any criminal acts that are designed to corrupt or undermine the fair and impartial administration of justice.”
According to court documents, Taylor, 49, of Wake Forest, North Carolina, Bullock, 28, of South Hill, and Cox, 38, of Baltimore, Maryland, along with other co-conspirators, participated in a bribery scheme at FCI Petersburg between 2015 and 2019 to facilitate the introduction and distribution of contraband across the prison facility.
“This investigation demonstrates the resolve of the FBI, the United States Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General to ensure fair justice. In this instance, sworn officers of the law and inmates alike, at the Federal Correctional Institution in Petersburg, manipulated and circumvented the justice system for significant personal gain, and have been justly sentenced for their criminal actions,” said Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office. “FBI Richmond is committed to working with our partners to preserve the integrity of the system and ensure faith is not lost for those respecting it.”
“Correctional Officers Taylor and Bullock jeopardized the safety and security of their colleagues by accepting bribes from inmate Cox to bring contraband into the prison. The Office of the Inspector General is committed to rooting out these bribery schemes and bringing the perpetrators to justice,” said Russell W. Cunningham, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Washington Field Office.
Cox, who pleaded guilty to bribery of public officials on March 22, 2021, was an inmate at FCI Petersburg from on or about January 23, 2014 until on or about July 18, 2019, when he was transferred to another institution. During this time, Cox ran a gambling operation contrary to BOP regulations and, with the assistance of other inmates, obtained and sold contraband, including Suboxone, marijuana, heroin, cigarettes, and cellular telephones. Taylor, then a case manager, and Bullock, then a correctional officer at FCI Petersburg, accepted monetary bribes from friends and family of Cox who were not incarcerated. In return, Taylor and Bullock permitted the introduction as well as distribution of the contraband items in the prison.
From October 2017 to April 2019, Taylor and Bullock received at least $46,841 in bribe payments consisting of both wire transfers and cash payments from individuals associated with Cox.
Taylor was sentenced to 4 years in prison for solicitation and acceptance of bribes. Bullock was sentenced to 10 months in prison for solicitation and acceptance of bribes.
Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; and Russell W. Cunningham Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Washington Field Office made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge David J. Novak.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth Simon Jr. and Michael C. Moore prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:20-cr-125.