Two Former North Carolina Correctional Officers Indicted
RALEIGH—United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announces that on August 19, 2015, a federal grand jury in Raleigh returned a four count Indictment against two former Correctional Officers that worked at Polk Correctional Institution (“Polk”) in Butner, North Carolina.
The Indictment charges GREGORY DUSTIN GOULDMAN, 31 and JASON DEAN, 29, each with one count of Extortion Under Color of Official Right, 18 U.S.C. § 1951. Additionally, DEAN was charged with one count of making a False Statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 18 U.S.C § 1001, and one count of lying before a federal Grand Jury, 18 U.S.C. § 1623.
U.S. Attorney Walker stated, “Corruption by correction officers undermines the criminal justice system and puts the general public at risk. We will always prosecute these kinds of cases to maintain the integrity of our system.”
GOULDMAN was employed as a Correctional Officer at Polk from 2005, through May of 2015. From 2012, through September of 2014, GOULDMAN held the position of Sergeant and worked as a supervisor in Polk’s “high security maximum control unit” (hereinafter “HCON”). The HCON unit was opened in 1998 to serve as North Carolina’s supermax prison for “the state’s most violent and assaultive offenders.” The indictment alleges that GOULDMAN engaged in a scheme with a number of prisoners held in HCON under which he smuggled tobacco, marijuana, cellular telephones, and packages of AA batteries (often used to fashion a device for charging the cellular telephones) to such inmates in exchange for cash. The cellular telephones were used by the inmates to communicate with persons outside of prison. It is further alleged that, after being transferred out of HCON in September of 2014, GOULDMAN continued to smuggle contraband into Polk for at least one additional inmate.
DEAN is alleged to have misused his position as a Correction Officer to extort things of value from inmates. DEAN is also alleged to have lied as to a material fact during an interview with FBI Agents and to have committed perjury while testifying before a federal Grand Jury.
The United States Attorney’s Office and FBI’s investigation into Polk was prompted by the circumstances relating to the kidnapping conspiracy alleged to have been orchestrated by defendant Kelvin Melton through the use of a cellular telephone in his cell in HCON.
“These men put many lives at risk for their own profit. They were entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that North Carolina’s convicted criminals serve their sentences. Instead, this type of conduct made it possible for a dangerous gang member to reach outside of prison walls which lead to the kidnapping of Mr. Frank Janssen. The FBI will keep pursuing this case and will not stop until everyone who played a role in this ruthless crime is held accountable,” said John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI.
Polk is operated under the purview of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (“DPS”). DPS Secretary Frank L. Perry said: “The department has participated in and cooperated with this investigation and we strongly support this prosecution in this very serious case to the fullest extent of the law. DPS has so many professional and dedicated employees who serve the state in this very challenging and dangerous environment and it is truly regrettable when a corrupt staff member puts their co-workers and the public at risk.”
If convicted of Extortion Under Color of Official Rights both defendants face maximum imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of $250,000. In addition, DEAN faces a maximum of five years’ imprisonment if convicted of making a False Statement and a fine of $250,000 and five years’ imprisonment if convicted of Perjury and a fine of $250,000.
The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations. The defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dennis Duffy and Leslie Cooley.