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Employee pleads guilty to bribery at prison

Special to The News

BEAUMONT — A 39-year-old Beaumont woman pleaded guilty to federal bribery in the Eastern District of Texas, U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown said Wednesday. Charleas Artesha Wilkerson pleaded guilty to charges of public official accepting a bribe before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith F. Giblin.

Information presented in court revealed that in April, while serving as an employee of the Bureau of Prisons, Wilkerson agreed to accept $1,000 in exchange for smuggling suboxone and cell phones to a federal inmate housed at the U.S. Penitentiary in Beaumont. Federal agents observed Wilkerson retrieve money associated with the smuggling of contraband items.

Wilkerson was later arrested as she retrieved a box she believed to have contained the contraband items. Wilkerson was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 12. Under federal statutes, Wilkerson faces up to 15 years in federal prison at sentencing.  A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell E. James.