- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 13, 2007

A former guard for the D.C. Department of Corrections is now an inmate, more than four years after fleeing a federal bribery indictment in the District.

Niyi Akinyosoye, indicted in 2002 in an FBI investigation into correctional guards taking bribes to smuggle cash and contraband for inmates, was detained last month by Canadian authorities who arrested him on immigration charges, according to recent court records.

A spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency, which alerted U.S. authorities about the arrest, last week declined to comment on the circumstances of Mr. Akinyosoye’s apprehension. According to court records, he was arrested in Toronto, then extradited to the United States. He is now in jail awaiting trial in the District.

The former guard was employed by Corrections Corp. of America, which operates a privately run correctional facility for the District under a contract with the city. The facility is next to the D.C. Jail in Southeast.

In seeking to keep Mr. Akinyosoye incarcerated pending trial, prosecutors recently argued he posed “an extraordinary risk of flight,” according to a court memo.

“As this court has already seen, if given the chance to flee, given the seriousness of the charges and the weight of the evidence, Akinyosoye could easily exit the United States,” prosecutors argued.

Authorities in 2002 charged Mr. Akinyosoye with smuggling cash and pagers in and out of the facility. Indictments also were filed against two other guards and a former guard in the investigation. The probe relied heavily on the cooperation of an unnamed inmate providing information to the FBI, records show.

Prosecutors said a videotaped FBI sting operation showed Mr. Akinyosoye inside an undercover agent’s car three times accepting cash to deliver money to an inmate inside the jail. Cash is banned in the jail. In one transaction, he took $500 from the agent, agreeing to keep $300 and deliver the other $200 to the inmate.

The inmate, cooperating with the FBI, arranged deals between Mr. Akinyosoye and an undercover agent identifying himself as the inmate’s brother, “Vince,” prosecutors said.

At his arraignment in 2002, Mr. Akinyosoye pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The indictment against Mr. Akinyosoye charged him with three counts of bribery and two counts of introducing contraband into a penal institution. Bribery carries up to 15 years in prison.

Mr. Akinyosoye was released without bond pending trial in November 2002 but did not show up at subsequent hearings in the District.

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