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Press Release

Former Correctional Officer Sentenced to Eight Months in Federal Prison for Accepting Bribes to Smuggle Tobacco into Terre Haute Correctional Complex

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana

TERRE HAUTE- Jordan Kelsheimer, 25, of Blanford, Indiana, has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison after pleading guilty to accepting a bribe as a public official.

According to court documents, beginning in 2019, Jordan Kelsheimer was employed with the United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, as a Corrections Officer. At the time of the offense, Kelsheimer was employed at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana.

In the summer of 2022, Bureau of Prisons investigators initiated an investigation of the defendant after receiving multiple reports from inmate witnesses that Kelsheimer was smuggling tobacco into the facility. Tobacco is prohibited for inmate use in federal prisons. The witnesses reported that they repeatedly observed Kelsheimer in intimate contact with “Inmate 1” in and near her office. The reported contact included kissing and, on occasion, more intimate contact. Investigators reviewed prison surveillance footage from July 2022, which showed repeated contact between Kelsheimer and Inmate 1 in and near her office, as reported. The witnesses also reported that Inmate 1 was selling the cigarettes to other inmates in the prison.

On July 18, 2022, staff searched Kelsheimer when she reported for work at the prison. Kelsheimer had eight packs of Newport cigarettes on her person, which she ultimately acknowledged she intended to deliver to Inmate 1 that day. Kelsheimer also had a stack of love letters from Inmate 1 on her person. She admitted that she was paid $400 per carton by Inmate 1’s brother via CashApp, and she communicated with the brother by text messaging. Electronic records showed that she received a total of 15 separate bribe payments for a total of $5,140.

“Corrupt correctional officers fuel the contraband problems in our prison facilities and exploit the vulnerability of inmates for their own profit,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “Contraband sales fuel a cycle of debt, extortion, and violence, and officials whose honor is for sale endanger every inmate and staff member in the facility. As the sentence here demonstrates, these corrupt officers will find themselves returned to the prisons as inmates.”

FBI and Department of Justice- Office of Inspector General’s Chicago Field Office investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge James P. Hanlon. Judge Hanlon also ordered that Kelsheimer be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for two years following her release from federal prison, and pay a $500 fine.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney James M. Warden, who prosecuted this case. 


Updated March 22, 2024

Public Corruption