TELFAIR CO, Ga. (WTOC) -A correctional officer working at McRae Correctional Facility in Telfair County has been charged in a 14-count indictment.
Charges against 30-year-old Michael Kerr of Vidalia include 12 counts of bribery, one count of providing contraband to a prison, and one count of making false statements to law enforcement.
The indictment states that Kerr accepted payments ranging from $400 to $640 on 12 separate occasions in return for smuggling cigarettes to an inmate. The false statement charge alleges that Kerr lied when confronted with the allegations, saying that the payoff only occurred once for $100. The indictment states that investigators believe that Kerr accepted bribes in total of $5,790.
“The corrections officers in our federal prison system perform outstanding work under difficult conditions,” said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “Any guard who violates their oath makes the job for all the others more difficult, and as a consequence merits prosecution.”
“Introducing contraband undermines the integrity of federal prisons and creates a danger for correctional officers, prison staff, and inmates,” said Special Agent in Charge James F. Boyersmith, Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Miami Field Office. “Bribery and smuggling contraband into federal prisons will not be tolerated, and our agents will continue to root out these schemes. I’d like to thank U.S. Attorney Christine for his partnership in this effort.”
The charges carry a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.