Federal guard pleads guilty to smuggling contraband into Conroe lockup
A federal prison guard from Houston pleaded guilty to bribery Monday after he smuggled everything from food to marijuana into the Joe Corley Detention Facility in Conroe.
Agents started investigating Jacoby Derrell Randall, 28, in early 2017 after months of probing repeated allegations of contraband smuggling into the federal lockup.
In January, federal investigators interviewed an inmate being held on drug charges and learned that Randall had snuck in food facility six times for $100 a pop.
On a seventh occasion, the jailer brought in an MP3 player for $200, according to court documents.
In recorded calls and through social media chats, Randall talked with the inmate’s connections on the outside to set up other smuggling efforts, at one point taking hundreds of dollars in down payments toward a smart watch.
Then in March, Randall schedule a meeting with the inmate’s friend at a Greenspoint Mall parking lot. He thought he’d be picking up the high-tech watch from the inmate’s acquaintance - but that person turned out to be working for the FBI.
Randall took the watch and collected the final $350, not knowing agents had already marked down the serial numbers on the bills.
As the guard drove off, the FBI moved in and arrested him. When they searched the wayward guard’s car, they found a gun, a smart watch, charger and $350 in marked money, according to documents filed in the Southern District of Texas.
Under questioning, Randall confessed to the crime and also admitted to smuggling cell phones, food, pot and various electronics in exchange for cash bribes.
“The FBI is dedicated to investigating allegations of public corruption at any level,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Perrye said in statement. “Public corruption erodes the public’s confidence in our democracy and will not be tolerated.”
Afterward, Perrye took to Twitter to reiterate his message against #publiccorruption.
Randall’s sentencing is slated for Feb. 12 in front of U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes. He’s facing up to 15 years in federal prison plus a possible $250,000 fine, and Randall was allowed to stay out on bond until his next court date.
The corruption case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Julie N. Searle.