KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal crackdown on alleged bribery-related smuggling of such contraband as cigarettes, cell phones and prescription drugs into the county jail in Kansas City, Missouri, has expanded with indictments accusing a fifth person and adding more charges against the previous four suspects.
A criminal complaint last month had accused Jackson County Detention Center corrections officers Andrew Dickerson and Jalee Fuller, inmate Carlos Hughley, and Fuller and Hughley's friend Janikkia Carter of one count of telephone use to further unlawful activity, in this case corruption.
But a federal indictment Tuesday accuses those four of conspiracy and charges Carter and Hughley with three counts each of the unlawful telephone use charges. The indictment added Marion Byers — another Fuller and Hughley acquaintance — and charges him with two telephone-related counts.
A separate indictment accuses Dickerson of conspiracy and three more counts involving telephone use to further criminal activity.
Hughley, who prosecutors have said is the father of Fuller's recently born child, had been awaiting trial on charges of domestic assault, armed criminal action, resisting arrest and multiple counts of distributing controlled substances. Dickerson no longer is employed with the county, and Fuller is on unpaid administrative leave.
Messages left Wednesday by The Associated Press with the defendants' attorneys were not immediately released.
Last month's original charges related to a raid of the jail by roughly 200 law enforcers, including the FBI. An FBI investigation that began two years ago focused on excessive use of force by guards on prisoners before expanding to other areas, with previous searches having uncovered drugs, weapons and other contraband.
Authorities have said in court filings that an inmate's relative who was acting as an informant paid bribes and provided cellphones and cigarettes that Dickerson and Fuller smuggled into the facility in May and June. The contraband then was delivered to an inmate who also was acting as an informant, the affidavit said.
Tuesday's indictment alleges that Dickerson took part in a bribery and contraband-smuggling plot from May 2 to June 26, promoting the scheme through telephone calls and texts. Authorities allege Dickerson smuggled cell phones and other contraband to the lockup's inmates, telling one of them that he would ensure that inmate was the only one on the floor to get bootleg cigarettes, narcotics, drugs and telephones if the inmate paid him $2,500 a month.
During that same time, the indictment alleges, Fuller, Carter, Hughley and Byers engaged in a separate, similar bribery and smuggling scheme. At one time, according to the indictment, Fuller — with help from Carter and Byers — smuggled a cell phone, charger and 15 anti-anxiety medications to an inmate for $300.