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Justice News

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

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Corrections Officer Pleads Guilty to Scheme to Smuggle Opioids into Prison for Inmate

BOSTON – A corrections officer at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute facility in Norfolk (MCI-Norfolk) pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to a conspiracy to smuggle Suboxone strips into the facility for an inmate.

William Holts, 51, of Pawtucket, R.I., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance. U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani scheduled sentencing for Sept. 17, 2018. Holts, an employee of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, was charged and arrested on May 9, 2018.

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 court documents, Suboxone is a Class III controlled substance intended to treat heroin addiction, but some abuse the drug to get high. It is coveted 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 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.

Updated July 11, 2018