Former Prison Officers Accused of Smuggling

     RALEIGH, N.C. (CN) – Two former North Carolina correctional officers were indicted on charges of smuggling contraband into a prison after an investigation stemming from the kidnapping of a prosecutor’s father.
     U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker charged Gregory Dustin Gouldman and Jason Dean each with one count of extortion under color of official right, alleging that they smuggled contraband to and from inmates of the Polk Correctional Institution in Butner, N.C.
     Dean, 29, was also charged with giving a false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and lying during a grand jury investigation.
     A Raleigh, N.C. grand jury returned the indictment last week, and it was announced by federal officials on Monday.
     Gouldman, 31, worked as a supervisor in Polk’s high-security maximum control unit, or HCON, where he allegedly gave cell phones, batteries, marijuana and tobacco to three prisoners in exchange for cash and electronic money transfers. HCON houses North Carolina’s most violent offenders, according to the FBI.
     The indictment accuses Gouldman of smuggling some of the contraband in his pants, his jacket, and fast food bags under the guise of his dinner.
     Dean, who worked under Gouldman, is accused of receiving a custom gold grill with fanged teeth from an inmate and selling it to his previous employer, Hard Times Jewelry & Pawn in Henderson, N.C. An inmate also allegedly gave Dean $200 for cigarettes that he did not provide.
     When questioned by the FBI and a grand jury regarding his sale of the gold teeth, Dean denied any knowledge of the transaction, according to the government.
     An investigation into contraband smuggling at Polk began after inmate Kelvin Melton allegedly orchestrated the kidnapping of a prosecutor’s father in 2014 using a cell phone in prison, according to an FBI press release.
     Melton is not mentioned in the indictment charging Gouldman and Dean and the two former correctional officers are not charged in the kidnapping.
     FBI special agent in charge John Strong said in a statement that Gouldman and Dean put others in danger by smuggling phones and other items into Polk.
     “These men put many lives at risk for their own profit. They were entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that North Carolina’s convicted criminals serve their sentences. Instead, this type of conduct made it possible for a dangerous gang member to reach outside of prison walls which lead to the kidnapping of Mr. Frank Janssen,” Strong said. “The FBI will keep pursuing this case and will not stop until everyone who played a role in this ruthless crime is held accountable.”
     Gouldman and Dean face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted. Dean faces an additional five years and $250,000 for each of his false statement and perjury charges.

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