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Justice News

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

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Corrections Officer Arrested for Scheme to Smuggle Opioids into MCI-Norfolk

BOSTON – A corrections officer at a Massachusetts Correctional Institute facility in Norfolk (MCI-Norfolk) was arrested today and charged in connection with a conspiracy to smuggle Suboxone strips into the facility for an inmate.

William Holts, 51, of Pawtucket, R.I., was arrested and charged in a criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Holts, an employee of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, was detained following an initial appearance before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal. A detention and probable cause hearing is scheduled for Friday, May 11, 2018.

As alleged in court documents, beginning around April 30, 2018, Holts advised an inmate, for whom he had smuggled other contraband, that he was willing to smuggle drugs into MCI-Norfolk in exchange for cash. In a series of recorded calls, Holts arranged to meet with a source outside the correctional facility to get the cash and obtain drugs to be smuggled in. Holts agreed to bring in over 100 Suboxone strips in exchange for $2,000 in cash. 

According to the complaint, Suboxone is a Class III controlled substance intended to treat heroin addiction, but some abuse the drug to get high. It is coveted as contraband in prisons across the nation and particularly in New England. Suboxone strips, which dissolve under the tongue, may be tucked behind envelope seams and stamps.

The charge of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $500,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Commissioner Thomas A. Turco III of the Massachusetts Department of Correction made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris of Lelling’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging document are allegations.  The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the court of law. 

Drug Trafficking
Updated May 10, 2018