Officer Indicted for Allegedly Smuggling Contraband into the Terre Haute Facility
TERRE HAUTE, IN—Josh J. Minkler, the Acting United States Attorney, today announced federal charges against a former corrections officer at the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute, IN. Edward Tunwar, 54, was charged with distribution of a controlled substance and two counts of providing contraband in a prison.
“We have a right as citizens to put full trust and confidence in our public employees,” said Minkler. “When they betray our trust, they will face the full extent of federal law.”
The government alleges that on December 16, 2013, Tunwar, while working as a corrections officer, provided an inmate of the facility with heroin. It is further alleged that between June 1, and December 16, 2014, Tunwar provided an inmate with a cellular telephone and tobacco products.
This case was jointly investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General.
“The FBI will continue to aggressively pursue breaches of the public trust at the local, state and federal levels of government. Public corruption remains a high priority criminal program,” said Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abbott.
“We are pleased to collaborate with our law enforcement partners to pursue such significant misconduct by a government employee” stated John F. Oleskowicz, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Chicago Field Office. Oleskowicz continued “We hope that these charges will serve as a deterrence to others who might betray the public trust.”
Tunwar had his initial appearance in Federal Court today before a magistrate judge.
According to Senior Litigation Counsel Bradley Blackington, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Tunwar faces up to 41 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
An indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.