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A federal corrections officer who accepted bribes to let inmates leave the minimum security camp at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison.

Leon Perry III, 43, of Linton, was sentenced today  by U.S. District Judge James P. Hanlon, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Sawa, who prosecuted this case, said Perry will serve two years supervised release following his prison sentence.

Perry pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy for officer to permit escape, conspiracy to bribe public officials, officer permitting escape and public official accepting a bribe.

He was arrested Dec. 5, 2017.

The government said Perry worked as a reservation patrol officer at the Federal Prison Camp in Terre Haute and had served as a correctional officer at the Bureau of Prisons for about 10 years. His duties included patrolling prison grounds to prevent and stop escape attempts.

The government said Perry accepted bribes from inmates in the form of cash, prescription medication, and other items. In return, Perry allowed inmates to leave the prison grounds without permission, to have sexual relations with their girlfriends, wives, and other female acquaintances on prison grounds and at nearby hotels. 

The inmates also were allowed to smuggle contraband into the prison, including cellphones, controlled substances and alcohol.

“Correctional officers are entrusted to keep the prison and inmates at the facility safe,” said Minkler. “Perry not only violated the public’s trust for his own selfish greed, but also threatened the safety of prison employees, inmates, and the Terre Haute community.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice-Office of the Inspector General and the Bureau of Prisons Special Investigative Services.

“This sentence sends a strong message that corruption by law enforcement officers will not be tolerated," said Grant Mendenhall, special agent in charge of the FBI's Indianapolis office.

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