ALEXANDRIA, La. – A correctional officer at the U.S. Penitentiary in Pollock, La., along with a relative of an inmate, were charged with conspiring to introduce a cell phone into the prison, U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced.
Maggie Kay Comeaux, 28, of Ball, La., and Paris Smith, 21, of Detroit, Mich., were indicted for the conspiracy by a federal grand jury and arraigned Wednesday, August 20, 2014, in federal court for one count of conspiracy, one count of bribing a public official, one count of receiving a bribe by a public official, and one count of providing contraband to a prisoner. According to the indictment, from January 2013 to April 2013, Comeaux accepted a $400 bribe from Smith and two other unnamed conspirators to smuggle a cell phone into the prison.
If convicted, they face a maximum of five years in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiracy; 15 years in prison and five years of supervised release for bribing a public official; 15 years in prison and five years of supervised release for receiving a bribe by a public official; and one year in prison and one year of supervised release for providing contraband to a prisoner. They also face up to a $250,000 fine.
The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison D. Bushnell is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.