Kingsland man sentenced in bribery case

A Kingsland man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to bribery in federal court in September.

Mathew Stone, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery for accepting $1,100 from inmates and their associates in 2015 while working as a correctional officer at D. Ray James prison in Charlton County, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. He took the money in exchange for smuggling contraband, including cellphones and tobacco, into the prison several times.

“This officer betrayed the public’s trust by using his official position to commit criminal acts,” according to acting U.S. attorney James Durham. “This U.S. attorney’s office will continue to hold accountable those public officials who abuse the public’s trust for their own greedy purposes.” 

Chief U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood sentenced Stone to 18 months in prison. The maximum sentence was 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Parole is not a part of the federal justice system.

“This defendant joins a growing list of correctional officers across the United States who have been convicted in recent years for accepting bribes to help smuggle contraband into the federal prison system,” said Robert A. Bourbon, special agent in charge of the Miami Field Office of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. “This kind of crime not only threatens the safety of other correctional officers, and inmates, it corrupts a system designed to rehabilitate inmates and educate them about the benefits of following the law.”

Special agents for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General investigated the case, which was prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorney Marcela Mateo.

D. Ray James Correctional Institution is a privately run facility that houses federal inmates through a contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

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