Local News

Kidnap investigation leads to charges against two at Polk Correctional

Posted August 31, 2015 1:26 p.m. EDT
Updated August 31, 2015 2:53 p.m. EDT

Federal agents investigating the case of a kidnapping orchestrated from behind the walls of Polk Correctional Institution in Butner found reason to indict two correctional officers there on charges unrelated to the case.

Gregory Dustin Gouldman, 31, and Jason Dean, 29, each face one count of extortion under color of official right. Dean was also charged with making a false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and one count of lying before a federal grand jury.

"These men put many lives at risk for their own profit," said John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI. "They were entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that North Carolina's convicted criminals serve their sentences."

U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker said Gouldman engaged in a scheme with a number of prisoners to smuggle them tobacco, marijuana, cell phones and batteries in exchange for money.

Dean, who was hired as a correctional officer last September, is accused of pawning an inmate’s gold teeth grill for $35 and lying about it to an FBI agent. He was indicted on charges of extortion of inmates, lying to the FBI and making false statements to the grand jury.

If convicted, both men face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. In addition, Dean faces a maximum of five years in prison for each additional charge.

Strong likened the officers' actions to the case of Kelvin Melton, 49, an inmate who is charged with orchestrating the 2014 kidnapping of Frank Janssen. It was Melton's access to a cellphone that allowed him to coordinate with co-conspirators on the outside to abduct Janssen, the father of Wake County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Janssen.

"This type of conduct made it possible for a dangerous gang member to reach outside of prison walls, which lead to the kidnapping of Mr. Frank Janssen. The FBI will keep pursuing this case and will not stop until everyone who played a role in this ruthless crime is held accountable," Stone said.

An FBI spokeswoman pointed out that while the investigation of Melton led agents to Gouldman and Dean, neither man had a direct tie to that case. WRAL News originally reported that the men were linked to the Janssen case, but that was incorrect.