Former Benton Jail Officer Gets Federal Prison Time for Smuggling
A Tri-City resident and former Benton County Corrections Officer will spend four years in Federal prison for his role in a smuggling operation that allowed phones, drugs, and other items to be brought into the Benton County jail.
Man pleaded guilty to Federal charges
The US District Attorney's Office for Eastern Washington (Federal) released information indicating 34-year-old Eric Christian will serve 46 months, after having pleaded guilty in December of last year.
According to the US Attorney's Office, Christian not only smuggled various items such as cellphones and drugs into the jail, but he also tried to keep the operation from being detected by making sure other inmates did not report it. The US Attorney's Office said Christian also:
"provided access to dangerous offenders and gang members so that they could identify, assault, and retaliate against cooperating defendants as well as inmates charged with certain types of offenses.”
Officials say his role in the operation was from at least January to April of 2021. Not only did he participate, but he profited from the conduct.
He was one of six people who were brought up and convicted on the Federal charges.
Christian, who will also undergo three years of supervision following his prison term, was scolded by the Federal sentencing judge for betraying the inmates he had sworn an oath to protect, referring to the 'tips' he provided that used intimidate and threats to keep others in the jail from reporting him.
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