U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Virginia
(540) 857-2250
January 5, 2015

Federal Correctional Officer Sentenced for Accepting Bribes and Providing Contraband to Inmates

ABINGDON, VA—Acting United States Attorney Anthony P. Giorno announced today that Scottie Austin was sentenced in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon on charges of receiving bribes.

Scottie Austin, 44, of Kingsport, Tenn., who at the time of his offenses worked as a correctional officer at United States Penitentiary Lee County, previously pled guilty to a one count Information charging him with accepting a bribe as a public official. Today in District Court, Austin was sentenced to 12 months and one day of federal incarceration.

“Mr. Austin betrayed the trust placed in him by the Department of Corrections through his illegal and potentially dangerous activity,” Acting United States Attorney Anthony P. Giorno said today. “The investigation and prosecution of this case shows that our office and our investigative partners will pursue justice no matter the position of the individual who breaks federal law.”

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea and sentencing hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee, Austin was employed as a correctional officer for the United States Bureau of Prisons at United States Penitentiary Lee County, Virginia, in Jonesville, Va. Between April 2013 and April 2014, Austin received multiple monetary payments, totaling at least $10,000, from family members of an inmate at the penitentiary in return for Austin smuggling tobacco products and cellular telephones into the penitentiary. These items were then provided to the inmate in violation of Bureau of Prisons regulations.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Bureau of Prisons Special Investigative Service at United States Penitentiary Lee County, and the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee prosecuted the case for the United States.

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