RIVERSIDE, California – A federal correctional officer who worked at the United States Penitentiary in Victorville has agreed to plead guilty to a federal bribery charge for taking a $1,000 bribe to smuggle contraband to a prisoner inside the facility.
Ignacio Adrian Sobers Jr., 31, of San Bernardino, entered into a plea agreement that was filed today in United States District Court. Sobers agreed to plead guilty to one count of acceptance of a bribe by a public official.
Sobers was arrested by federal authorities on January 21 after receiving a $1,000 payment and a gift-wrapped package filled with contraband in a parking lot of a fast food restaurant in San Bernardino.
The contraband that Sobers received for the purpose of smuggling to the inmate included MP3 players, pornographic magazines, pornographic movies, all of which were objects prohibited from delivery to an inmate at USP Victorville and which defendant knew to be prohibited objects according to the plea agreement.
“With the full knowledge that his conduct was illegal and posed a threat to the security of the prison, this defendant betrayed his oath to the United States by accepting a bribe in exchange for smuggling contraband to a prisoner,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Law enforcement officers have a special duty to uphold the law and to act in the public's interest, and this defendant's failure to act in the public's interest both presented an immediate threat of harm to the security of the prison and undermines public confidence in law enforcement in general.”
According to a criminal complaint filed when Sobers was arrested last month, prison officials were investigating the inmate for suspected illegal activity inside the prison. The inmate provided information that Sobers had agreed to provide him with contraband in exchange for bribes.
The inmate's contact outside the prison cooperated with law enforcement during the January 21 incident in which Sobers accepted $1,000 in cash to smuggle the package to the inmate.
Sobers made his initial court appearance in this case on January 23, at which time he was released on a $10,000 bond.
Sobers is scheduled to be arraigned on February 22 in United States District Court.
Once he pleads guilty, Sobers will face a maximum statutory sentence of 15 years in federal prison.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General, Investigations Division, Los Angeles Field Office.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Julius J. Nam of the Riverside Branch Office.
USAO – California, CentralUpdated February 9, 2017
Central District of California DOJ/ 17-029 / February 9, 2017