Corrections officer arrested in pot scam

ORLANDO — A Florida Department of Corrections officer who works in Orlando was arrested after he agreed to smuggle marijuana to an inmate for $1,000 but didn’t and kept the money, authorities said

Daniel Buckner, 36, of Lakeland, who is a corrections officer employed by the DOC and works at the Central Receiving Facility in Orlando, was wired $1,000 by an inmate’s wife as payment for smuggling marijuana into the facility for the inmate, according to an affidavit.

Buckner instead kept the money for himself and did not take marijuana into the facility, the affidavit said. He then called the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to falsely claim that the inmate’s wife was threatening him, the affidavit said.

In the false report, which was filed Sept. 16, 2008, Buckner stated that he thought a family member wired him $1,000 via Western Union, according to the affidavit. He then stated that he was later contacted by the wife of an inmate from the prison where he works, asking him if he had received the money, the affidavit said.

The corrections officer told Polk County sheriff’s deputies that he did not make a deal with the inmate and his wife, and said that he was then threatened by the inmate’s wife who said she “would get him, his job, and that his family was not safe” if he did not carry out the plan.

During a joint investigation with the Department of Corrections, deputies learned that Buckner did make a deal with the inmate to smuggle marijuana into the facility and knowingly accepted $1,000 for the deal, but then kept the money, the sheriff’s office said.

Buckner was arrested on Tuesday and admitted to making the deal, keeping the money, and filing a false police report, deputies said. He also admitted that the inmate’s wife did not threaten him, but only contacted him because she wanted her money back since he did not take the marijuana into the prison, deputies said.

Buckner was booked into the Polk County Jail on one count of making a false report to a law enforcement officer.


Congressman’s son/ex-Aurora prison security chief sentenced for sex with inmates

An Illinois congressman’s son was taken to jail Wednesday after he admitted having sexual encounters with inmates while employed as a security chief for a state corrections facility in Aurora.

Jeffrey M. Rush, 42, of Lake Zurich pleaded guilty to three counts of official misconduct in a negotiated plea accepted by Kane County Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon. Under the agreement, Rush was sentenced to 180 days in the county jail and 30 months of probation.

“He abused his position of trust … for his own sexual gratification,” Kane County prosecutor Justin Fitzsimmons said. “This sentence reflects that that will not be tolerated.”

Rush, the son of longtime Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush, initially faced 47 counts of official misconduct, a Class 3 felony carrying a possible prison term of two to five years.

Two of the charges he pleaded guilty to Wednesday stemmed from 10 sexual rendezvouses with two female inmates from Aurora’s Fox Valley Transitional Center. Prosecutors said Rush abused his position as chief of security at the facility by arranging the consensual encounters at an Aurora motel and one inmate’s home between Feb. 1 and June 18, 2007.

Rush also had inappropriate contact with a third woman by twice offering her rides home, according to the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.

Public defender Brenda Willett, who represented Rush, declined to comment.

The transitional center, at 1329 N. Lake St., is run by the Illinois Department of Corrections. It provides “support and services for the female offender as she re-enters the community and workforce,” according to an IDOC Web site.


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