RICHMOND, VA – A North Carolina man, formerly employed by the Bureau of Prisons at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Petersburg, pleaded guilty today to taking bribes to allow for the introduction of contraband into the prison. Today’s guilty plea follows a former correctional officer’s plea last week for taking bribes as part of the same scheme.
“Stephen Taylor and Shanice Bullock flagrantly violated their positions of trust as federal prison officials by engaging in a bribery scheme inside FCI Petersburg instead of safeguarding the security of the facility and protecting its inmates,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Our Office will continue to seek equal justice under the law and hold accountable government officials who corrupt their oaths and betray the public’s trust.”
According to court documents, Stephen Taylor, 48, then a case manager at FCI Petersburg, received over $17,000 in Walmart-2-Walmart transfers from an inmate’s mother from March 2018 to March 2019. In return, Taylor permitted the introduction of contraband items into the prison—namely Suboxone, marijuana, cellular telephones, and tobacco. In addition, Taylor received contraband and sums of cash from the inmate’s girlfriend.
In addition to Taylor, former correctional officer Shanice Bullock, 28, of South Hill, Va., pleaded guilty on February 9 for her role in the same prison bribery scheme. Specifically, Bullock took bribes from the same inmate’s mother to facilitate the introduction of Suboxone, marijuana, heroin, cigarettes, and cellular telephones into FCI Petersburg.
Taylor is scheduled to be sentenced on August 6, and he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Bullock will be sentenced on August 11 and faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Christopher R. Derrickson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; and Russell W. Cunningham, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge David J. Novak accepted the plea.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth Simon Jr. and Michael C. Moore are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:20-cr-125.