Four corrections officers at a privately run annex to the D.C. jail have been indicted on charges that they smuggled drugs, pagers and cash to inmates in exchange for bribes offered by undercover FBI agents, prosecutors said recently.
Three of the four were employees of the Corrections Corp. of America, which runs the Correctional Treatment Facility in Southeast Washington under a contract with the city, when they allegedly took the bribes. The fourth, whom prosecutors described as a former CCA employee at the facility, allegedly served as a go-between for one of the others in his dealings with an FBI agent posing as an inmate's girlfriend.
The indictments stemmed from activities that allegedly occurred last spring and summer at the Correctional Treatment Facility, according to charging documents.
That building, originally used for inmates with substance-abuse programs, has been converted to hold up to 870 excess inmates from the D.C. Jail.
The corrections officers accepted unspecified amounts of money, marijuana, a computer and even a computer game in exchange for doing the smuggling, the charging documents said. Cash is considered contraband in the jail because of "its capacity to generate and facilitate illegal commerce," prosecutors said. Pagers are banned because they allow inmates to have unmonitored communications with each other or people not in custody.
The men were identified as Charles Harrison, 28; Elry McKnight, 30,; Niyi Akinyosoye, 29; and Raphael Clemencia, 41. Clemencia was the former employee and the alleged go-between for McKnight, his roommate, prosecutors said.
All were arrested by the FBI on November 7, prosecutors said. They were indicted on charges of bribery and introducing contraband into a penal institution. All pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court and were released on personal recognizance.
Steve Owen, a spokesman for CCA, said that only one of the four was still an employee of the company, though he did not know which one. However, that man "would in all likelihood be terminated" after the indictment, Owen said.
In a similar investigation at the Correctional Treatment Facility last year, 10 corrections officers were indicted on bribery charges, including nine from CCA. All 10 were convicted of various charges, prosecutors said.