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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Former USP-Marion Employee Pleads Guilty To Providing Contraband To Inmate And Lying To Federal Investigators

Renee D. Strauss, 42, of Marion, Illinois, pled guilty today in United States District Court in Benton to a four-count information charging her with two counts of making false statements to a special agent of the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, one count of providing a cellular telephone to an inmate, and one count of attempting to provide other contraband to an inmate, announced James L. Porter, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. The information to which Strauss pled guilty alleged that between June 2015 and September 27, 2015, while she was employed as a case manager and correctional officer by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and assigned to the United States Penitentiary at Marion, Strauss provided contraband to an inmate and then lied to agents who were investigating that misconduct. Strauss, who has been on administrative leave since September 27th, resigned her position with the federal government prior to pleading guilty.

Sentencing was set for June 29, 2016, 2016, at 10:00 a.m., at the United States District Courthouse in Benton. Strauss faces up to 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years of supervised release to follow any term of incarceration imposed on each of the two false statement counts. She faces a terms of up to 1 year in prison for providing the cellular telephone and up to 6 months in prison for providing the other contraband. Strauss was placed on bond pending sentencing.

The investigation leading to the charges and guilty plea was conducted by the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James M. Cutchin.

Updated March 23, 2016