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Federal correctional officer pleads guilty to bribery and wire-fraud conspiracy

Team Radio Marketing Group - November 27, 2017 12:26 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY–Charles Daniel Lynn, 34, of El Reno, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty on Monday to accepting a bribe as a federal correctional officer and conspiring to commit wire fraud, announced Mark A. Yancey, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

According to an indictment filed on Aug. 16, 2017, Lynn served as a correctional officer at Great Plains Correctional Facility in Hinton, Oklahoma, during the latter half of 2016. Operated by GEO Group, Great Plains is a low-security institution that contracts with the Bureau of Prisons to house approximately 1,871 federal inmates.

Federal regulations prohibit certain contraband items in correctional institutions, including cell phones and electronic music players.

The indictment charges Lynn with conspiracy to commit honest-services wire fraud and also with accepting a bribe as a federal official. The indictment also charges Armando Tabares, 30, of Misson, Texas, and Jose Tomas Castillo-Garza, 39, an inmate at Great Plains, with conspiracy and bribery.

In particular, the grand jury alleges that Lynn agreed to receive contraband items from Tabares, to smuggle these items into Great Plains, and to deliver them to Castillo-Garza, who is Tabares’s brother-in-law. The contraband items included cell phones, electronic music players, and other items. The indictment also alleges that Lynn escorted Castillo-Garza to various parts of Great Plains to distribute the contraband to other inmates. In exchange for Lynn’s services, Tabares and others paid Lynn through interstate wire transfers via Walmart Money Gram. The alleged conspiracy deprived the government of Lynn’s honest services as a prison employee.

Lynn pleaded guilty on Monday before Judge David L. Russell to one count of accepting a bribe and one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud. At sentencing, Lynn could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for bribery.

For the conspiracy, Lynn could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. After any prison term, he could be required to serve up to three years on supervised release. Sentencing will take place in approximately 90 days.

Castillo-Garza pleaded guilty to conspiracy on Nov. 7, 2017. He faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and supervised release of three years. His sentencing will also take place in approximately 90 days.

Tabares is charged with conspiracy and with paying a bribe to a federal official. His trial is scheduled in January 2018.

This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI and the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney K. McKenzie Anderson is prosecuting the case.

 

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