Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges Bureau of Prisons Employee with Lying in Connection with Federal Criminal Investigation – July 30, 2009 – LEV L. DASSIN, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and JAMES E. TOMLINSON, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the
Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General (“DOJOIG”),
announced today the arrest of FRANCISCO FELIX for making
false statements to federal agents in connection with a criminal
investigation by the DOJ-OIG. FELIX is a maintenance worker
supervisor at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (“MCC”) in New
York, New York.

According to the Complaint and other documents filed in Manhattan federal court:

In June 2008, DOJ-OIG agents interviewed a federal inmate at the MCC (the “Inmate”) who previously had contacted BOP internal investigators to advise that he was solicited for a bribe by BOP employee JOSEPH FRANGIOSA. From June 2008 through September 2008, FRANGIOSA accepted multiple bribe payments from an undercover law enforcement officer posing as the Inmate’s relative in exchange for allowing the inmate to make unmonitored telephone calls. (It is a violation of BOP rules and regulations to permit inmates to make unmonitored telephone calls.)
FRANGIOSA subsequently pleaded guilty in the Southern District of
New York to soliciting bribes in connection with the performance
of his official duties.

Beginning in July 2008, FRANGIOSA was out on medical
leave and not working within the physical premises of the MCC.
MCC telephone records and recorded calls, however, showed that
the Inmate was permitted by FELIX to make an unmonitored
telephone call from a basement room at the MCC. In the days
leading up to that call, FELIX and FRANGIOSA spoke frequently by
phone and FRANGIOSA admitted to law enforcement agents after his
arrest that FELIX had agreed to help the Inmate make the
unmonitored telephone call.

In February 2009, federal law enforcement officials
interviewed FELIX in connection with this investigation. After
being advised of his rights and waiving them, FELIX declared in a
sworn statement that: (1) FRANGIOSA had not asked FELIX to assist
the inmate in placing unmonitored telephone calls from MCC; (2)
FELIX did not know the inmate; (3) FELIX had never escorted or
allowed any inmate to be moved to the basement shop areas to make
unmonitored phone calls; and (4) FELIX had not assisted the
inmate in making unmonitored phone calls.

After the interview of FELIX, federal law enforcement
officials twice interviewed a senior officer at the BOP (“the
Housing Unit Officer”) who worked in the housing unit where the
inmate was housed, whose responsibilities included monitoring the
inmate’s departures from the unit to other areas of the MCC.
During the first interview, the Housing Unit Officer identified
the Inmate as a person seen in relevant video footage leaving the
housing unit and said that he would not have permitted the Inmate
to leave the unit without authorization from a BOP staff member,
but could not recall which staff member had asked that the Inmate
be released. During the second interview, the Housing Unit
Officer stated that he had permitted the inmate to leave his
housing unit because FELIX had called him on the unit telephone
and instructed him to release the inmate. The Housing Unit
Officer said he had not previously identified FELIX because he
feared retaliation by FELIX.

FELIX, 34, is charged with one count of making false
statements to a federal agency in connection with an
investigation, which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in

FELIX was arrested in Manhattan this morning. FELIX
was presented in Manhattan federal court earlier this afternoon
and released on bail.

Mr. DASSIN praised the investigative work of the DOJOIG
and the Bureau of Prisons.

This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public
Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys RUA M. KELLY
and RACHEL KOVNER are in charge of the prosecution.

The charge contained in the Complaint is merely an
accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.

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