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Press Release

Atlanta Woman Sentenced for Role in Smuggling Contraband into a Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Ashlee Richardson-Barley, 34, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison after pleading guilty to her role in smuggling contraband into the Federal Correctional Institution, Estill (“FCI Estill”), located in Estill, South Carolina. 

Evidence presented to the court showed that while Richardson-Barley was employed as a correctional officer at FCI Estill and between November 2019 and April 2020 she smuggled contraband, to include cigarettes, marijuana, cellphones, and suboxone, into FCI Estill.  In exchange for the bringing the contraband into the facility, she was paid approximately $15,700.00 by inmates. 

“Federal employees, especially those who enforce the law, are held to a higher standard,” said Adair F. Boroughs, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina. “ This sentence sends a clear message that no one is above the law, and we will prosecute those who threaten the safety of our correctional facilities.”

“Contraband, including cell phones, in prisons can be dangerous weapons. The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General is committed to bringing to justice any correctional officer that violates their oath and smuggles contraband into federal prison facilities,” said Eric R. Fehlman, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Southeast Region. 

United States District Judge David Norton sentenced Richardson-Barley to one year and one day imprisonment, to be followed by a one-year term of court-ordered supervision.  There is no parole in the federal system.

This case was investigated by Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Winston Marosek and Amy Bower are prosecuting the case.



MEDIA CONTACT:   Veronica Hill, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Attorney’s Office,, (803) 929-3000

Updated May 16, 2024

Public Corruption