Six indicted for bribery scheme in Petersburg prison

Six indicted for bribery scheme in Petersburg prison
(Source: (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File))

PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - Six individuals have been charged in a bribery scheme that occurred within the Federal Correctional Institution in Petersburg.

A federal indictment states that two staff members and several inmates were introducing drugs, cigarettes and phones into the federal prison. The scheme also involved an inmate gambling operation that violated Bureau of Prison regulations.

Stephen Taylor, 48, and Shanice Bullock, 28, were employed at the prison and are accused of receiving tens of thousands of dollars while they introduced the controlled substances and contraband into the facility, according to the indictment. The indictment states that inmate Dontay Cox, 37, ran the contraband scheme within the facility alongside other inmates.

Cox’s mother, Kim Williams, 56, and girlfriend, Rameesha Smith, 36, were also indicted in the scheme. FCI Petersburg inmate Travian Taylor, 29, is charges with running the contraband scheme alongside Cox.

Officials say inmates and their associates would pay Williams, Smith, and another co-conspirator using a variety of methods. The indictment said Stephen Taylor and Bullock were paid thousands of dollars via wire transfers from Walmart-2-Walmart.

All six defendants are charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Stephen Taylor, Bullock, Williams, and Cox are charged with multiple counts of offering bribes to and receiving bribes by public officials. If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison per count. Cox is also charged with possessing marijuana in the prison.

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