- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 6, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A former federal corrections officer has been sentenced to 15 months in prison after taking money to give tobacco to a prisoner.

James P. Cheatham III was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III to federal prison, three years of supervised release and a $1,500 fine.

The 24-year-old Brandon resident pleaded guilty in June to one count of bribery. Prosecutors say an inmate’s brother wired $6,100 to Cheatham’s girlfriend on four occasions in February 2016 in exchange for Cheatham smuggling tobacco to the inmate at a federal prison in Yazoo City. Cheatham then worked as a guard at the facility.

A second former guard, Julius Pearson, was sentenced last week to a year in prison for smuggling tobacco into the Yazoo County prison in exchange for $10,000.

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