Local News

Prison workers, inmates sentenced for bribery scheme

Posted December 8, 2009

— Two workers at the federal prison in Butner and two inmates were sentenced Monday on bribery charges.

Natosha Latay Owens, 34, of Knightdale, James Christopher Ford, 35, of Greensboro, Ralph Ames, 32, of Bronx, N.Y., and Dwayne B. Dollson, 40, of Trenton, N.J., pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to bribe a public official. Owens, Ames and Dollson were sentenced two years in federal prison, while Ford was placed on probation for five years.

Owens worked in the kitchen at Butner Correctional Facility from 2003 to 2007 and sold contraband like cigarettes and a cellular phone to inmates, authorities said. Inmates used a network of friends and relatives to provide money to her, and she provided contraband to the inmates while they were working in the kitchen.

Authorities said these inmates would then resell the contraband to other inmates, who would often resell it again, each transaction resulting in a higher price and profit.

Ames also was a kitchen employee at Butner who obtained contraband from Owens. Dollson purchased a cell phone through other inmates who obtained it from Owens, authorities said. Ford purchased and resold cigarettes from other inmates, who purchased them from Owens, and Ford used the proceeds to run a gambling operation inside the prison, authorities said.

Three others convicted in the scheme are awaiting sentencing.

"Employees at all levels of our federal prison system must abide by its highest ethical and legal standards to ensure the proper functioning of our prison system," U.S. Attorney George Holding said in a statement.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • ScottW76 Dec 9, 2009

    So Food Service Correctional Officers are not really "Officers", Airborne? Do they not go through the same basic training? Do they not do the same basic job of supervising inmates? I knew people like you in the military that felt that cooks were not "real" soldiers, even though we did the same basic training and had to perform the same soldierly tasks as others. Don't belittle food service personell because you think you're better than them for whatever reason. Their field is just slightly different then the regular Correctional Officer job and they could perform the same job if they were in and trained in that specific field.

  • airbornemonty Dec 8, 2009

    Officer's for crying out loud, what kind of officers could they possibly be?

    Well, perhaps they are in charge of the pots and pans or cleaning the grease pit. But officers, I don't think so!

  • GoGreen Dec 8, 2009

    I really don't understand why they allow money in the prison system anyway.

  • ScottW76 Dec 8, 2009

    I'm in the process of a conditional offer of employment for Correctional Food Service Officer job and I can honestly say that I would never put a few extra dollars over the longevity of my career and the welfare of my family, not to mention possible jail time. Greed breeds stupidity and now they must pay the piper. They think times are tough now? Well they're about to get tougher for themselves AND they're families. Way to go.

    As Mochabrown said: "Just stupid."

  • Just the facts mam Dec 8, 2009

    They must have really liked working there at the prison - now they will be spending all day there....

  • T-3485 Dec 8, 2009

    well said mocha!

  • garnertoy Dec 8, 2009

    mochabrown I couldnt agree more

  • mochabrown Dec 8, 2009

    Just dumb, stupid. As hard as jobs are to get, these officers having good jobs, allowed greed and inmates to cause them to lose their jobs. Now they are going to federal prison. Folk out here wanting to work, needing to work, and they acting ungrateful for their jobs.

    Just stupid.