DANBURY, Conn. -- A federal grand jury in New Haven indicted a case manager at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury on Thursday in connection with a scheme to solicit and collect cash bribes from inmates in exchange for early release to “halfway houses,” officials said.
Kisha Perkins, 42, of Waterbury, was charged with one count of paying a bribe to a public official, and one count of acceptance of a bribe by a public official.
Perkins was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on March 14. If convicted, she faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years on each count.
A criminal complaint said that in June 2013, Perkins asked another FCI Danbury employee to participate in a scheme to solicit a cash bribe from an inmate at the prison in exchange for the inmate’s early release to a halfway house. She said the inmate and the inmate’s husband were willing to pay $20,000.
At that time, Perkins did not have administrative authority to recommend inmates for early release. Perkins' co-worker, who would receive half of the money, was needed to complete the scheme because the co-worker had the administrative ability to recommend inmates for early release.
The co-worker declined to participate, reported the incident to law enforcement and agreed to cooperate in the investigation, which included the use of numerous consensually recorded conversations.
In July 2013, the co-worker told Perkins that he/she had changed his/her mind and wanted to participate in the scheme. But Perkins said that a scheme involving the inmate was no longer possible.
As the investigation continued, in February 2014, the co-worker identified a second inmate as a possible candidate for the bribe scheme. Perkins agreed to participate and, after extensive planning, on March 8, Perkins and her co-worker traveled to a commuter lot off of Exit 28 on Interstate 84 to pick up a partial bribe payment of $5,000 in cash in a fast food bag that, as Perkins believed, was to be dropped off by an acquaintance of the inmate.
After her arrest, Perkins was released on $100,000 bond. But her bond was revoked March 28 and she was detained. An arraignment and detention hearing is scheduled for April 7 in New Haven.
The announcement was made in a statement from Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. attorney for Connecticut; Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the FBI; and Ronald G. Gardella, Special Agent-in-Charge, Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Office.