Ex-Delaware correctional officer sentenced for smuggling drugs, phones

A former Delaware correctional officer was sentenced to three years behind bars for smuggling drugs and cell phones into Vaughn Correctional Center.



A former Delaware correctional officer was sentenced to three years behind bars for smuggling drugs and cell phones into the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (JTVCC) in Smyrna.

Thomas Boyce, Jr. was sentenced on Tuesday, after previously pleading guilty.  Court documents reveal that the 51-year-old Dover man smuggled drugs, including heroin, and cell phones to 16 different inmates, in exchange for money in 2013 and 2014.

According to the sentencing memo, “The defendant smuggled contraband to trusted inmates, knowing they were trafficking the contraband to other inmates.” It continued, “The defendant smuggled drugs into JTVCC with the awareness that at least three of the inmates he was supplying were drug dealing within the prison.”

Two inmates overdosed on heroin in May 2013 and March 2014. The first overdose was fatal, while the latter required hospitalization.

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Not only were the inmates trafficking the contraband among themselves, but the records state Boyce knew the inmates were using the contraband to funnel even more drugs and phones into the prison.

“The defendant was charged with keeping JTVCC safe. Instead, he committed an abuse of trust that made the prison manifestly less safe – where his charge was to protect the inmates and his colleagues, the defendant’s prison smuggling endangered them,” said Acting U.S. Attorney David Weiss, following the sentencing. ” My office is committed to investigating and prosecuting corrupt prison employees.  Today’s sentence should serve as a deterrent for correction officers who would smuggle contraband into a prison.”

“Few things threaten our society more than public servants who betray their oath for personal gain,” said Special Agent in Charge Gordon Johnson, of the FBI’s Baltimore Division. “The FBI in Delaware, along with our state and federal partners, are sending a strong message today that we will not tolerate corruption in the prison system which tarnishes the good work of the dedicated and committed correctional employees.”

The Air Force veteran had served as a correctional officer at the prison for 20 years before being fired in 2015 following a joint investigation by the FBI and the Delaware Department of Correction. Boyce is scheduled to surrender on January 2, 2018.

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