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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 16, 2015

Former Corrections Officer Indicted For Accepting Bribes To Smuggle Contraband

Ocala, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, announces the return of an indictment charging Robert Lawrence Brown (32, Clermont) with acceptance of a bribe by a public official. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Brown that the United States intends to forfeit $7,100, which is alleged to be traceable as proceeds of the offense.       

According to court documents, beginning in January 2015, Brown allegedly used his position as a corrections officer at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex to smuggle contraband to inmates in exchange for illegal monetary payments. On June 18, 2015, federal agents monitored a meeting between Brown and a cooperating witness.  During the meeting, Brown accepted a $2,600 bribe for illegal items that he already had smuggled into the prison. When confronted by investigators, Brown admitted that he had illegally negotiated $7,100 in cash payments in return for smuggling cellular telephones, prescription pills, tobacco, and other items to federal inmates over the previous six months.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless,  and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Component(s): 
Updated July 16, 2015