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RCI officer sentenced for receiving bribes

RALEIGH – A local woman employed as a correctional officer at Rivers Correctional Institution (RCI) in Winton will spend the next 366 days behind bars.

On Thursday in Raleigh, United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced 47-year-old Arlinda Hendrix Lee of Windsor to 12 months and one day in prison, followed by one year of supervised release.

According to Robert J. Higdon, Jr., the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, an investigation revealed that Lee was accepting bribes and helping to smuggle contraband into the prison for inmates.

RCI is a privately owned facility operating under a Federal Bureau of Prisons contract that houses male inmates from the Washington, DC area.

On July 23, 2018, Lee pled guilty to criminal information that charged her with Receipt of Bribes by a Public Official from 2015 to January 27, 2017.

In a press release, Higdon said in December 2015, investigators became aware that an inmate at RCI was using contraband cell phones to facilitate the smuggling of contraband cigarettes and drugs into the prison, as well as to communicate with drug associates. A review of telephone records from Sept. 22, 2015 through March 28, 2016 revealed that the inmate had 53 contacts with phone numbers associated with Lee. The inmate later obtained a new cell phone, and phone records revealed five additional contacts with Lee.

Investigators determined that between May 10, 2012, and August 18, 2016, Lee received $7,350 in wire transfers from known associates of RCI inmates in exchange for helping to smuggle contraband into the prison.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Prisons Office of Inspector General.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott A. Lemmon.

 

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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