Parole Officer Heads to Prison for Accepting Bribes
HOUSTON—Crystal M. Washington, aka Crystal Bureau, 54, has been ordered to federal prison following her convictions of accepting bribes from parolees and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Washington was employed as a parole officer at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) office located on Hamilton Street in Houston. A federal jury convicted her Dec. 10, 2013.
Today, U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal, who presided over the trial, handed Washington a total sentence of 60 months of federal imprisonment to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.
Following the two-day trial last year, the jury found Washington accepted bribes from a parolee—a suspected heroin dealer—from 2009 to 2012 and that she warned the dealer of a Houston Police Department investigation in 2009. She was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin as well as conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right for accepting money from the dealer. Further evidence was presented which showed Washington accepting money from a cooperating parolee in May 2012.
Washington was relieved of all duties and her employment terminated upon arrest.
Previously released on bond, Washington was taken into custody following the sentencing today where she will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The operation was a combined public corruption task force effort by the FBI, Houston Police Department, TDCJ-Office of Inspector General and the Texas Rangers.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jim McAlister and Carolyn Ferko.