TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Two former Lucas County corrections officers were indicted in federal court for accepting bribes in return for smuggling contraband items into inmates.
A third former corrections officer was charged with providing contraband to inmates.
"We received information, we acted on it and we brought it to the attention of the FBI," said Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp. "We felt these people should not be working with our office or our employees. It was the right thing to do."
Officials say that in 2015, 31-year-old Robert Hobson accepted bribes from an inmate or their associates in return for providing contraband to inmates, including synthetic cannabinoids and tobacco.
He was indicted on two counts of Hobbs Act extortion and two counts of providing contraband in prison.
Police say 32-year-old Marcus Henderson accepted bribes from an inmate or their associates in return for providing contraband to inmates, including a cellular telephone and tobacco, in 2016.
He was indicted on one count each of Hobbs Act extortion and providing contraband in prison.
Officials say 39-year-old Matthew Wiegand provided contraband tobacco to an inmate in 2017, and was indicted on one count of proving contraband in prison.
All three men worked as corrections officers at the Lucas County Correctional Center in Toledo.
"Corrections officers willing to take bribes from incarcerated criminals cannot be tolerated. The FBI applauds Sheriff Tharp for his commitment to root out corruption and look forward to our continued partnership with the Lucas County Sheriff's Office," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony.
If convicted, their sentences will be based on factors unique to the case, such as the defendant's prior criminal record, if any, the defendant's role in the offenses and the characteristics of the violation.
"Corrections officers play vital role in the justice system," U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. "Those who would accept bribes to break the rules put others at risk. Sheriff Tharp is to be commended for bringing these cases to the attention of federal law enforcement when he discovered this problem."