Former federal prison employee, inmate plead guilty in bribery case

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A former employee and an inmate at USP Big Sandy federal prison in Martin County have pleaded guilty in a bribery-contraband case, according to federal court documents.

Hank Williams, who was a cook supervisor at the prison, pleaded guilty to taking bribes, conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and using the mail to facilitate the commission of a felony, according to the court documents.

According to court documents, Williams used fake names to have meth, heroin, marijuana, cell phones and other contraband mailed to his son’s home in Georgetown that Williams would pick up.

Williams admitted to providing drugs and other items to inmates in exchange for cash, according to court documents.

The scheme lasted more than three years, dating back to spring 2016, according court documents.

The scheme was uncovered following a search of inmate Librado Navarette’s cell in May 2019, according to prosecutors.  Investigators say they found marijuana, synthetic marijuana referred to as K2, tobacco and cell phones.

Navarette is in prison for selling meth in California, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  Investigators say he had ties to the Mexican Mafia.

Prosecutors say the investigation that began after the search of Navarette’s cell led them to Williams.  According to Williams’ plea deal, he received between $82,500 and $89,600 in bribes.

He is scheduled to be sentenced August 30, 2021 in federal court in Lexington.

Navarette is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in Lexington on October 12, 2021.

Librado Navarette/Federal Bureau of Prisons


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