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Leavenworth correctional officers charged for accepting bribes, smuggling drugs

Federal audit criticizes private detention center in Leavenworth, Kansas
Posted at 9:17 AM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 10:17:56-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two former correctional officers at the Leavenworth Detention Center have been charged with smuggling drugs into the prison and accepting bribes.

Jacqueline Sifuentes, 25, of Laredo, Texas, formerly worked at the federal prison in Kansas. A release from the United States Department of Justice states that she allegedly smuggled "contraband, including methamphetamine, marijuana and tobacco, into the prison in exchange for bribe payments from federal inmates."

She has been charged with conspiring to commit bribery and providing contraband to an inmate. She faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

Cheyonte Harris, 29, of Raytown, Missouri, was also previously employed at the prison.

"The indictment alleges that Harris used her position as a public official to smuggle contraband into prison in exchange for bribe payments," the release said. "The indictment further alleges that she made material misrepresentations to the FBI when she was interviewed in April 2021."

Harris is charged with conspiring to commit bribery, providing contraband and making false statements to federal agents. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

"The cases are part of the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts to combat the dangerous and corrosive effects of prison corruption," the release said.

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