KANSAS CITY, Mo. June 27 2017– Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that two corrections officers at the Jackson County Detention Center are among four persons charged in a bribery scheme to smuggle contraband cell phones and other items to inmates.
Today’s announcement was made in conjunction with a law enforcement operation at the Jackson County Detention Center, 1300 Cherry St., Kansas City, Mo. Approximately 200 law enforcement officers and federal agents participated in the operation at the detention center and the arrests of the four defendants as part of an ongoing investigation.
Andre Lamonte Dickerson, 26, Carlos Laron Hughley, 32, and Janikkia Lashay Carter, 36, all of Kansas City, Mo., and Jalee Caprice Fuller, 29, of Independence, Mo., were charged in a federal criminal complaint that was filed under seal on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo. That complaint was unsealed and made public today following the arrests of all four defendants. They remain in federal custody pending their initial court appearance this afternoon. The government will seek to have Dickerson and Hughley detained in federal custody without bond.
Dickerson and Fuller are corrections officers at the Jackson County Detention Center. Hughley is an inmate at the detention center awaiting trial on charges of domestic assault, armed criminal action, resisting arrest and multiple counts of distributing controlled substances. Hughley is purportedly the father of Fuller’s recently born child. Carter is an acquaintance of Fuller and Hughley.
The criminal complaint charges Dickerson, Fuller, Hughley and Carter for their roles in a bribery and contraband smuggling scheme from May 13 to June 3, 2017, in violation of the Travel Act.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, two confidential informants – an inmate at the detention center (identified in court documents as Confidential Informant 1, or C1) and a relative of that inmate (identified in court documents as Confidential Informant 2, or C2) – assisted in the investigation of corrupt corrections officers. The affidavit describes two undercover operations in which C2 paid bribes and provided cell phones and cigarettes, which were smuggled into the detention center by Dickerson and Fuller and delivered to C1.
In one undercover operation, C2 allegedly paid Dickerson $500 on June 2, 2017, to smuggle two packs of contraband cigarettes, a cell phone and a phone charger (with the items provided to Dickerson by C2) into the detention center. At approximately 1 a.m. the following morning, the affidavit says, Dickerson entered C1’s cell and placed the items on his bed. Dickerson allegedly asked C1 if he would be interested in paying him a monthly fee of $2,500 in exchange for being the only inmate on the fifth floor of the detention center to receive contraband cigarettes, narcotics and telephones. Other inmates would then shop through C1 for their contraband, either paying through food or by putting money on C1’s “books.” Dickerson allegedly told C1 to have C2 call him if he was interested.
Another undercover operation had been initiated in May 2017 when Hughley allegedly told C1 that he could get contraband into the detention center. C2 then coordinated with Carter and an unknown individual named “Cuddy,” the affidavit says. C2 allegedly paid Cuddy $300 on May 18, 2017, and provided a cell phone and charger that Fuller was to smuggle into the detention center. According to the affidavit, video footage obtained from the detention center shows Fuller delivering a paper bag through the cell block door hole to C1 on May 23, 2017. The paper bag delivered by Fuller contained the cell phone and 15 Xanax pills.
Larson cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt.
This case is being prosecuted by Deputy U.S. Attorney Gene Porter. It was investigated by the FBI and the Jackson County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the Missouri Department of Corrections, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Jackson County Detention Center.
The Travel Act makes it a crime to use a facility of interstate commerce (such as telephone calls) with the intent to further unlawful activity. The Travel Act’s definition of “unlawful activity” includes bribery in violation of the laws of a state. Missouri state law makes it a crime for a public servant to solicit or accept a bribe in return for violating a known legal duty. This crime is known under Missouri state law as acceding to corruption, and it is a companion or sister statute to the Missouri state statute that makes it a crime for someone to bribe a public servant. These two Missouri state statutes criminalize bribery conduct involving a public servant, both for the person paying the bribe and for the public servant taking the bribe.
The federal criminal complaint charges each of the defendants with violating the Travel Act by using a facility of interstate commerce (a telephone) to facilitate the promotion of an unlawful activity, that is, acceding to corruption.