Ex-corrections officer sentenced to 18 months for accepting bribes

Jason Epstein, 29, of Orlando pleaded guilty to the bribery charges in September


Desiree Stennett
Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. — A former corrections officer was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after he admitted to accepting bribes and smuggling contraband into a Sumter County prison.

Jason Epstein, 29, of Orlando pleaded guilty to the bribery charges in September. According to court officials, Epstein accepted the bribes between April 2012 and April 2014 while employed at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex, about 13 miles west of Leesburg.

Epstein would smuggle tobacco and marijuana into the prison for inmates and in exchange, the inmates would have friends or family outside the jail use fake names to wire money to Epstein in payment for the contraband.

Epstein wasn't caught until inmates reported his behavior.

"When confronted by investigators, Epstein confessed that he had received hundreds of dollars in illegal payments from the inmates and that he had smuggled the contraband into the prison for them on at least three or four occasions," according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

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