Ironton man denies prison smuggling scheme

Published 10:32 am Friday, September 27, 2013

An Ironton man and former prison guard denied charges of smuggling contraband into the Federal Correctional Institution in Summit, Ky.

James S. Lewis, 45, entered a not guilty plea Thursday in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky in Ashland.

Lewis was represented by attorney Dan Carmon.

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Prosecuting the case was E.J. Walburn, Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Lewis 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.

Judge Edward B. Atkins scheduled a pretrial hearing on Nov. 18 and a trial on Dec. 9.

Lewis was released on his own recognizance.

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, 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. The couple has not yet been arraigned.

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.

According to the indictment, Lewis, Gates and other unnamed co-conspirators, at the direction of Musick, would secure prohibited items, such as marijuana, tobacco, cell phones and sexually explicit photographs.

Gates and others would allegedly meet with Lewis or leave the items for him. Lewis then allegedly brought the items into the prison, which would then be sold by Musick 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.