California Prison Guard Pleads Guilty to Taking Bribes to Smuggle Cell Phones and Tobacco into Prison
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 14, 2011|
SACRAMENTO, CA—United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Bobby Joe Kirby, 54, of Reno, Nev., pleaded guilty today to a single count of honest services wire fraud for taking payments in exchange for smuggling tobacco and cellular telephones into prison.
According to court documents, Kirby worked as a correctional officer at the California Correctional Center in Susanville, a minimum-security facility of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
According to the plea agreement, Kirby used his official position to enrich himself by soliciting and accepting payments from inmates and persons acting on inmates’ behalf in exchange for smuggling tobacco and cellular telephones into the prison. Video recordings show that Kirby routinely went to a Reno store to pick up wire transfers worth between $20 and $450 each. On June 22, 2011, the FBI executed a search warrant at his Reno residence and on his vehicle. In his vehicle, investigators found, among other things, a Western Union receipt, a MoneyGram receipt, and a new cellular telephone in a shopping bag. Kirby confessed upon arrest, saying that he had been receiving $150 for every cell phone he smuggled.
This case is the product of an investigation by the FBI and CDCR. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew D. Segal is prosecuting the case.
Kirby is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge William B. Shubb on February 6, 2012. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.