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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 26, 2018

Correctional Officer at Federal Transfer Center Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes in Exchange for Smuggling Contraband

OKLAHOMA CITY – GABRIEL ORTIZ, 36, of Oklahoma City, pleaded guilty yesterday to accepting bribes in return for smuggling contraband into the Federal Transfer Center, announced Robert J. Troester of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma.

On October 2, 2018, Ortiz was charged in a one-count information with bribery by a public official.  Ortiz worked as a senior correctional officer at the Federal Transfer Center (FTC), a correctional facility located in Oklahoma City and operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).  The FTC houses inmates ranging from maximum security to minimum security and primarily serves as a transfer hub for inmates moving from one BOP facility to another. 

As part of his job, Ortiz was responsible for supervising inmates to ensure the safety and security of the FTC.  In particular, Ortiz was responsible for searching inmates and inmate housing units to prevent the introduction of contraband into the facility.  According to the information, from June 2018 until September 3, 2018, Ortiz solicited and accepted monetary payments in exchange for smuggling contraband, including marijuana, synthetic marijuana (known as "K2"), Suboxone, and tobacco, into the FTC for inmates. 

At his plea hearing today, Ortiz admitted that he accepted bribes in exchange for smuggling contraband into the FTC.  At sentencing, Ortiz faces up to 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release. United States District Judge Robin J. Cauthron will sentence Ortiz on January 24, 2019.  This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica L. Perry is prosecuting the case.

Reference is made to court filings for further information.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated October 26, 2018