Former Corrections Officer Sentenced to Federal Prison After Acccepting Bribes from Inmates
OCALA, FL—Senior U.S. District Judge Wm. Terrell Hodges yesterday sentenced Jason Monroe Epstein (29, Orlando) to 18 months in federal prison for receipt of a bribe by a public official. Epstein previously pleaded guilty to the offense on September 9, 2014.
According to court documents, between April 1, 2012 and April 30, 2014, Epstein worked as a penitentiary corrections officer at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Sumter County, Florida. During that time, federal agents received reliable information from inmates at the facility that Epstein had been accepting monetary payments in return for smuggling tobacco and marijuana into the prison. Further investigation resulted in recorded conversations between Epstein and the inmates, in which Epstein admitted to accepting the bribes. When confronted by investigators, Epstein confessed that he had received “hundreds of dollars” in illegal payments from the inmates and that he had smuggled the contraband into the prison for them on at least “three or four” occasions.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice- Office of the Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.