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Press Release

Former Federal Correctional Officer, Inmate Indicted for Attempting to Smuggle Marijuana into a Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

Memphis, TN – A former federal correctional officer and a federal inmate have been indicted for attempting to smuggle marijuana into a Memphis prison. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the indictment today.

According to the indictment, Keair Kemp was a public official and employed as a correctional officer at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Memphis. Travonte Johnson was an inmate at FCI Memphis.

Between mid-2015 and August 2015, Kemp and Johnson developed a scheme to smuggle marijuana into FCI Memphis. In exchange for cash, Kemp agreed to smuggle marijuana into the prison and to Johnson, thus violating his official duties as a correctional officer.

Kemp has been charged with one count of accepting money in return for being influenced to act in violation of his official duties. He is also charged with one count of attempting to provide a prohibited object, marijuana, to an inmate.

Johnson is charged with one count of offering money to a public official, to influence the performance of their official duties. Johnson is also charged with attempting to possess a prohibited object, marijuana, in prison.

If convicted, Kemp and Johnson face individual sentences of up to 15 years imprisonment and fines of up to $250,000 for the bribery charge. They each face up to five years imprisonment and fines of up to $250,000 on the contraband charge.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice - Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Erskine is prosecuting the case on the government’s behalf.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated October 19, 2015