Terre Haute Federal Correctional Officer faces multiple bribery and permitting escape charges
Alleged to have taken bribes to allow prisoners to escape the prison grounds,
have sex on prison property, and introduce contraband into prison
Terre Haute – United States Attorney Josh Minkler today announced federal criminal charges against a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) correctional officer involved in an elaborate scheme to allow inmates to leave the grounds, have sexual relations on the grounds, and bring contraband into the prison in exchange for cash and other items. Leon Perry III, age 41, Linton, was arrested today and faces charges that include, conspiracy for an officer to permit escape, conspiracy to bribe public officials, officer permitting escape, public official accepting a bribe and providing contraband in a prison.
“Mr. Perry put the safety and welfare of the inmates, correctional officers, the institution and the entire Terre Haute community in jeopardy by allowing this to occur,” said Minkler. “He allowed greed and power to betray the confidence we place in prison officials.”
The Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) is a medium-security prison for men operated by the Bureau of Prisons. Adjacent to the FCI is a minimum-security satellite camp, with no perimeter fencing commonly referred to as the Camp. Inmates at the Camp are generally permitted to roam the grounds but are forbidden from leaving without prior approval.
During the time referenced in the indictment, Perry worked as the Reservation Patrol Officer at the Federal Prison Camp, whose responsibilities included patrolling the prison grounds to prevent and stop any escape attempts. This included challenging unauthorized vehicles or persons who are on the grounds and maintaining overall security of the facility. Perry has served as a correctional officer at the BOP for approximately 10 years.
It is alleged that Perry agreed to be at a different part of the facility grounds when inmates left the facility and went with women to hotels in the nearby Terre Haute, Indiana area. In exchange for the agreement, Perry accepted cash bribes. It is further alleged that Perry accepted bribes, including cash and prescription medication, to allow prisoners to have sex with unauthorized visitors on prison grounds. It is also alleged that Perry accepted bribes in exchange for allowing contraband into the Camp; including cellular telephones, controlled substances, and alcohol.
"Corruption by law enforcement officers in any facet of their work won't be tolerated," said W. Jay Abbott, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Indianapolis Division. "The illegal actions by the few corrupt officers undermine the public's confidence in the majority of law enforcement officers who are trustworthy public servants."
“Greed and corruption have no place in our criminal justice system,” stated Special Agent in Charge John F. Oleskowicz of the DOJ Office of the Inspector General’s Chicago Field Office. “We want to thank our law enforcement partners for their assistance in ensuring that correctional officers who abuse their position are vigorously investigated and prosecuted.”
This case was investigate by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and the BOP Special Investigative Services.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Kyle M. Sawa who is prosecuting this case for the government, Perry faces up to 15 years imprisonment if convicted on all counts.
An indictment is merely a charge and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty in federal court.