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Former Victorville federal prison officer sentenced for taking bribes

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) — A former Correctional Officer at a Federal Correctional Complex in Victorville was sentenced to 15 months in prison for taking over $15,000 in bribes and smuggling methamphetamine and cell phones for inmates into the complex’s high-security penitentiary, officials said.

Paul James Hayes II, 52, of Victorville, was sentenced by a federal judge more than a year after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and accepting a bribe, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

Hayes was a lieutenant with BOP’s Special Investigation Services (SIS), a unit that investigates illegal activity by correctional officers and inmates.

According to a news release, from early 2018 to September 2018, “Hayes met in person with co-defendant Angel Marie Wagner, 44, of Buena Park, in parking lots of stores or restaurants in Victorville, and accepted cash bribes from her. In exchange for the bribes, Hayes accepted wrapped contraband — including methamphetamine, suboxone and cell phones — to be smuggled into the prison. Hayes then smuggled the contraband into the prison and provided it to inmate coconspirators, who then distributed the contraband to other inmates.”

In total, Hayes accepted more than $15,000 in cash to smuggle contraband into the prison, and he smuggled at least four separate packages of contraband into the penitentiary.

Wagner pleaded guilty in July 2020 to one count of conspiracy and one count of bribery of a public official, and she was sentenced on February 4 to two years’ probation.

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Inspector General and the FBI investigated this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Sean D. Peterson of the Riverside Branch Office prosecuted this case.

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