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Press Release

Anniston Army Depot Employee Indicted for Bribery, Providing Contraband to Federal Prisoners

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama

BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted an Anniston Army Depot employee for bribery and introducing contraband to federal prisoners, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Special Agent in Charge Robert Bourbon of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General’s Miami Field Office.


            MARK DAVID THORNTON, 55, of Gadsden, was charged in an 18-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court.


            “An individual who supervises prisoners and takes bribes in order to deliver contraband to them corrupts the underpinnings of our prison system,” Vance said. “Those crimes will be punished.”


            “The introduction of contraband creates safety hazards for both inmates and staff,” Bourbon said. “The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General will continue its efforts to ensure that federal prisons are as safe and secure as possible, and that anyone who supervises inmates and accepts bribes is brought to justice.”


Counts one through 15 of the indictment charge Thornton with bribery for corruptly accepting money from inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution, Talladega, in exchange for providing them with contraband between March 2014 and May 2015.


Count 16 charges Thornton with providing a cell phone to one inmate. Counts 17 and 18 charge Thornton with providing, or attempting to provide, t-shirts, protein powder and cigarettes to prisoners housed at FCI, Talladega.


            Bribery carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Introducing contraband into a prison is a misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.


            The case was investigated by special agents of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, and will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Davis A. Barlow.


            Members of the public are reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Updated August 27, 2015