January 9 2012
RIVERSIDE, California – A correctional officer who worked at the United States Penitentiary in Victorville was sentenced this morning to two years in federal prison for taking bribes in exchange for providing prisoners with tobacco, a substance which is banned in federal prisons.
Justin Morrow, 32, of Victorville, provided tobacco to two inmates, who collectively paid Morrow approximately $10,500 for smuggling tobacco into the penitentiary. Morrow pleaded guilty in August to one count of bribery of a public official.
Morrow devised a scheme to take tobacco orders and coordinate payment with inmates. As part of the scheme, Morrow thwarted security measures by exchanging coded letters and e-mails while pretending to be one of the inmate’s father. He also accepted some payments by having inmates wire money to his nephew and by having money deposited into a college savings account he established on his son’s behalf.
The case against Morrow was investigated by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General with the assistance of the Bureau of Prisons.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Jerry C. Yang