Ironton man indicted in smuggling case
Former Summit prison employee allegedly helped inmate
SUMMIT, Ky. — Marijuana and sexually explicit photographs were some of the items an Ironton man has been accused of helping an inmate smuggle into the Federal Correctional Institution in Summit, Ky., while he was employed as a correctional officer.
James S. Lewis, 45, was indicted by a federal grand jury Sept. 12 and charged with conspiring to defraud the United States and accepting bribes as a public official.
Also indicted were inmate, Gary Musick, 32, and his girlfriend, Cindy Gates, 23, both of Newport, Tenn. The couple was also charged with conspiring to defraud the United States. Musick was additionally charged with possession of contraband in prison.
Lewis, a correctional officer/materials handler at the FCI-Summit at the time of the alleged crimes, is scheduled to appear in federal court in Ashland, Ky., on Sept. 26. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
Musick faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine and Gates faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Court dates for the couple have not yet been set.
The eight-page indictment alleges from December 2010 until March 2012, Musick sold prohibited items, such as marijuana, tobacco, cell phones and sexually explicit photographs, to other inmates in exchange for stamps. If the inmates did not have the required currency, Musick directed them to send money to an outside address, the indictment stated.
The plan, according to the indictment, was mobilized by Musick from behind bars using four pre-paid cell phones purchased by Lewis. Two of the phones were seized at the prison, the indictment stated. Others, named only as co-conspirators, helped Musick with the scheme, either by purchasing the prohibited items outside the prison, or by helping hide the items in the prison.
According to the indictment, Lewis, Gates and other unnamed co-conspirators, at the direction of Musick, would secure the prohibited items. Gates and others would allegedly meet with Lewis or leave the items for him. Lewis then allegedly brought the items into the prison.
In one instance, a co-conspirator allegedly left marijuana in an Ashland, Ky., motel room in October 2011, which Lewis allegedly picked up, the indictment stated. In another instance, another co-conspirator mailed more than $7,000 to Gates at a Newport, Tenn., post office address.
According to the indictment, Federal Bureau of Prisons employees are subject to rules of behavior, which include prohibiting the employees from having contact with friends or family members of inmates, as well as conducting financial dealings with them.
Also according to the indictment, visitors and correctional employees are prohibited from bringing unapproved items into the prison.
An indictment is a formal allegation that an individual has committed a crime.
The accused are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.