Former Corrections Officer Pleads Guilty to Bribery Charge
Admits Taking Money in Return for Smuggling Drugs into D.C. Jail
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 14, 2013|
WASHINGTON—Jonathan Womble, 36, a former corrections officer at the District of Columbia Jail, pled guilty today to a federal charge of conspiracy to commit bribery for accepting $400 in cash in return for smuggling drugs and other contraband into the facility, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr. and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Womble pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Reggie B. Walton ordered him detained pending sentencing on September 13, 2013. The charge carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison and financial penalties.
According to the government’s evidence, the FBI received information in January 2013 that a corrections officer was providing narcotics and other contraband to an inmate at the D.C. Jail. An investigation revealed that the inmate was working with co-conspirators outside the jail to assemble, deliver, receive, and distribute narcotics intended for inmates at the jail and that they were paying an individual to get the drugs into the facility.
On January 27, 2013, Womble met with one of the co-conspirators in the parking lot of a carry-out restaurant in the District of Columbia. The co-conspirator gave Womble a plastic bag, which contained a powdery substance consistent with heroin and marijuana. The bag also contained a cell phone, cell phone charger, and $400 in cash. Womble understood that the cash was in exchange for him getting the drugs, cell phone, and charger to the inmate in the jail. Two days later, he smuggled the items into the jail and provided them to the inmate.
Plans were subsequently made for another delivery of contraband. However, on February 12, 2013, multiple bags of marijuana were discovered and intercepted inside Womble’s locker at the jail by the District of Columbia Department of Corrections and one of its K-9 dogs. The marijuana had been provided to Womble by a person who wanted it delivered to another inmate.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen and Assistant Director in Charge Parlave commended the work of the three agencies who jointly worked the case, including agents from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, an FBI task force officer from Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and investigators from the District of Columbia Department of Corrections Office of Investigative Services. Finally, they commended the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Lenisse Edloe, Legal Assistant Angela Lawrence, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard E. DiZinno and Christopher R. Kavanaugh, who are prosecuting the case.