SuperTalk Mississippi

Defendant guilty in corruption scheme involving introduction of illegal items into Federal prison

Photo courtesy of Mississippi Department of Corrections

After a seven day bench trial before United States District Judge Carlton W. Reeves, Kpanah Kollie, of Georgia, was found guilty last week of conspiracy to introduce contraband into a federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge James F. Boyersmith with the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (DOJ OIG) Miami Field Office.

“Those who commit public corruption and participate in corrupt schemes endangering the public and others will swiftly be brought to justice by this office.  I applaud the tenacity of the special agents, BOP personnel, and our federal prosecutors in prosecuting this difficult case.  The actions by law enforcement here in stopping further cellphones and other contraband from entering the prison may have saved lives,” said U.S. Attorney Hurst.

“Contraband in federal prisons, such as the drugs and cell phones in this case, undermines the safety and security of staff, inmates, and the community.  Today’s verdict shows that all persons involved in smuggling schemes, including persons outside the prison like Kollie, will be held accountable,” said James F. Boyersmith, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Miami Field Office.

In 2015, Kollie worked with inmates and correctional officers at the federal prison in Yazoo City, Mississippi, to smuggle illegal contraband into the facility for prisoners.  The illegal contraband included illicit drugs and unauthorized cell phones.  Correctional officers introduced these items, inmates sold them within the prison to other prisoners, and Kollie and others ensured that the officers and inmates were paid for their efforts.

Kollie is the fourth defendant convicted for her role in the corrupt scheme.  Two guards and one inmate previously pled guilty.

Kollie will be sentenced on March 3, 2020, by Judge Carlton W. Reeves.  She faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison, followed by up to 3 years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by special agents of the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Justice and staff from the Federal Correctional Complex at Yazoo.  It was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael FiggsGanter, Assistant U.S. Attorney Candace Mayberry, and others in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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