TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) — A correctional officer and a federal inmate have been sentenced for a bribery conspiracy at a prison in Texarkana, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
James Thompson, 55, pleaded guilty on August 5, 2020, to conspiring to commit bribery and was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Robert W. Schroeder III. He was also ordered to pay back $17,200 from his scheme.
Gilbert Gomez, 54, pleaded guilty on August 31, 2020, to conspiring to commit bribery and was also sentenced to 46 months in federal prison. Gomez has to pay $15,000 for his scheme.
“EDTX is committed to the principle that no person, regardless of their title, status, or position, is above the law,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei.
“This corrupt law enforcement officer exploited his position of public trust and endangered the inmates and staff at FCI Texarkana. This office will work tirelessly to protect the trust and confidence that East Texans have placed in their law enforcement community.”
According to information presented in court, beginning before August 2019 and continuing through January 2020, Thompson, a federal correctional officer, and Gomez, a federal inmate, engaged in a scheme to smuggle contraband into the Federal Correctional Institution located in Texarkana, Texas.
During the scheme, Thompson received cash bribe payments and prison contraband at a post office box under the alias of “Bobby Brown.” Thompson then smuggled the contraband into FCI Texarkana when he entered the facility to go to work.
Gomez coordinated the scheme from inside the institution, where he arranged cash bribe payments and delivered the smuggled contraband to other inmates. Thompson and Gomez received more than $30,000.00 total for smuggling contraband into FCI Texarkana.