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Press Release

Former Hardeman County Correctional Officer Sentenced to 5 Years for Distributing Narcotics in the Whiteville Correctional Facility

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

Jackson, TN – Shontavis Rivers, 21, a resident of Bolivar, Tennessee has been sentenced to 60 months in federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute in excess of 50 grams of actual methamphetamine within the Whiteville Correctional Facility. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the sentence today.

According to information presented in court, on September 25, 2019, a criminal complaint was filed against Rivers for attempting to smuggle narcotics into the Whiteville Correctional Facility. Rivers, a correctional officer, began removing his personal items to pass through the security checkpoint when a K-9 dog barked. Rivers quickly turned and left the building. Correctional employees followed Rivers as he attempted to leave. When approached by employees he stated that he had forgotten his identification. Rivers was informed that he would have to pass through security screening before he could retrieve his identification.

Whiteville Police Department officers were called to the scene and questioned Rivers who admitted that he had several packages concealed on his person. Each package contained approximately 77 grams of actual methamphetamine at 98% purity and 6.82 grams of cocaine. Rivers admitted to bringing packages of narcotics into the facility on two prior occasions.

On October 16, 2020, Chief United States District Court Judge S. Thomas Anderson sentenced Rivers to 60 months in federal prison followed by 3 years supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: "Official misconduct by public officers in positions of trust and authority undermines the foundational integrity of our government institutions and the security of correctional facilities. We will root out, expose, and hold accountable those officials who violate their oath for personal gain by introducing illegal narcotics into jails and prisons."

The Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC), Whiteville Police Department, and the Hardeman County Sheriff’s Department investigated this case.

Assistant United States Attorney Jerry Kitchen prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.



Cherri Green
Public Affairs
(901) 544-4231

Updated October 20, 2020