CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A former corrections officer convicted of running a drug trafficking ring inside the Cuyahoga County Jail was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison.
Stephen Thomas will start serving his sentence Friday.
“The defendants actions betrayed the trust and confidence placed in him by his employers and the public, when he used the position to further his own personal criminal interest,” said Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge William McGinty.
Thomas pleaded guilty in November to two counts of bribery, one count of theft in office and one count of illegal conveyance of a telecommunications device into a specific government facility.
Thomas and another former corrections officer, Marvella Sullivan, were first indicted in August of 2019 and then indicted on additional charges in July 2020 for bringing illegal drugs and other contraband into the jail in exchange for bribes.
Sullivan and Thomas resigned in 2019.
Thomas told the judge it was a bad decision he regrets, but he insists it in no way should diminish his character.
“They were not a reflection of how I was raised or who I actually am as a person, my bad judgment has caused disappointment and embarrassment,” said Thomas.
Sullivan pleaded guilty in July to attempted bribery and trafficking. She will be sentenced Tuesday afternoon.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office said Sullivan and Thomas served as couriers under the direction of two Heartless Felons gang member inmates, Lamar Speights and Alexander Foster.
Thomas specifically, brought cellphones to the gang members, allowing them to have contact with people on the outside.
“Running their criminal enterprises, intimidating witnesses, and engaging in drug trafficking.” said the prosecution.
Speights and Foster have also both pleaded guilty and will be sentenced Tuesday afternoon.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office handled the investigation with the assistance of the FBI, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department and Cleveland police.