Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Convictions of ex-guards upheld


A federal appeals court has upheld the convictions of two former guards in a sex-for-contraband scheme at a federal prison for women in Florida, where there was a fatal shootout when agents tried to arrest another guard.
Gregory Dixon and Alan Moore were sentenced to a year in prison in January 2007 after being convicted of conspiring to accept illegal gratuities and other crimes.

Dixon and Moore were among six guards at the Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institution. Prosecutors said the guards were part of a conspiracy to trade cigars, cigarettes, chewing gum, jewelry and cosmetics to inmates for sex.

One guard, Ralph Hill, pulled a gun and began firing at federal agents who went to the prison to arrest the suspects June 21, 2006. Hill and Justice Department Special Agent William "Buddy" Sentner were killed, and a prison officer aiding in the arrests was wounded.

Three other guards pleaded guilty.

Dixon and Moore appealed their convictions on several grounds, including that the favors bestowed on inmates did not rise to the level of performing an "official act" in exchange for a bribe. They also argued that the government failed to prove a single conspiracy, as alleged in the indictment.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected their arguments in an opinion filed Tuesday.


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