Skip to main content
Press Release

Former U.S. Penitentiary Guard Sentenced for Smuggling Contraband into the Federal Prison in Atlanta

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

ATLANTA - Dirk Antonious Engram, Jr., has been sentenced to federal prison for taking bribes to smuggle contraband into U.S. Penitentiary-Atlanta while he worked there as a corrections officer. He admitted that he charged $500 every time he smuggled cigarettes, marijuana, or other contraband into the prison for inmates.

“Corrupt corrections officers compromise prison safety while they profit from the underground economy that unfortunately exists in prison,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn.  “Prison is supposed to be a place where the controls are strong enough that additional crime is impossible, but this breaks down instantly when the officers themselves participate in the corruption.”

“The sentencing of Mr. Engram marks the end of his career as a federal corrections officer and the beginning of his time as a federal inmate,” said J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.  “The FBI will continue to vigorously investigate all allegations of corruption within this or other correctional facilities as part of the overall effort to ensure safety and order for both inmates and staff at these facilities.”

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court:  In November 2013, Engram began working as a corrections officer at U.S. Penitentiary-Atlanta, a medium-security prison with approximately 2,000 male inmates.  In 2014, Engram began smuggling contraband into the prison for inmates who befriended him.  Engram charged $500 each time that he smuggled cigarettes, marijuana, or other contraband into the prison.

He was arrested on September 11, 2014, by agents with the FBI after he accepted a bribe to smuggle what he believed was heroin into the penitentiary.

Dirk Antonious Engram, Jr., 27, of Atlanta, was sentenced to two years, four months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. Engram pleaded guilty to the charges on March 24, 2015.

This case was investigated by the FBI.

Assistant United States Attorney William G. Traynor prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is

Updated June 3, 2015

Public Corruption