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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 24, 2018

Two former Lucas County corrections officers indicted for accepting bribes in return for smuggling contraband items into inmates; third former guard also charged

Two former Lucas County corrections officers were indicted in federal court for accepting bribes in return for smuggling contraband items into inmates.

A third former corrections officer was charged with providing contraband to inmates.

Robert Hobson, 31, was indicted on two counts of Hobbs Act extortion and two counts of providing contraband in prison.

Marcus Henderson, 32, was indicted on one count each of Hobbs Act extortion and providing contraband in prison.

Matthew Wiegand, 39, was indicted on one count of proving contraband in prison.

“Corrections officers play vital role in the justice system,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “Those who would accept bribes to break the rules put others at risk. Sheriff Tharp is to be commended for bringing these cases to the attention of federal law enforcement when he discovered this problem.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony said: “Corrections officers willing to take bribes from incarcerated criminals cannot be tolerated. The FBI applauds Sheriff Tharp for his commitment to root out corruption and look forward to our continued partnership with the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office.”

“We received information, we acted on it and we brought it to the attention of the FBI,” said Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp. “We felt these people should not be working with our office or our employees. It was the right thing to do.”

All three men worked as corrections officers at the Lucas County Correctional Center in Toledo.

Hobson in November 2015 accepted bribes from an inmate or their associates in return for providing contraband to inmates, including synthetic cannabinoids and tobacco, according to the indictment.

Henderson in June 2016 accepted bribes from an inmate or their associates in return for providing contraband to inmates, including a cellular telephone and tobacco, according to the indictment.

Wiegand in May 2017 provided contraband tobacco to an inmate, according to the indictment.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Freeman following an investigation by the FBI and Lucas County Sheriff’s Office.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after reviewing factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial, in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Mike Tobin 216.622.3651 michael.tobin
Updated August 24, 2018