Federal Indictment Returned Against Former State Correctional Officers for Drug-Related Offenses

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA — A federal grand jury in Florence has returned an indictment in connection with drug-related charges against two former correctional officers with the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC).

Specifically, Joseph Corey Bailey, Jr., 29, and Xavier Kaseem Capers, 28, both of Ridgeland, were charged with conspiring to distribute at least 50 grams of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute at least 50 grams of methamphetamine. Bailey and Capers were correctional officers at SCDC’s Ridgeland Correctional Institution when SCDC staff located approximately 400 grams of methamphetamine inside the prison located in a bag previously handled by the two men.

“We work routinely with our partners at SCDC and DEA to ensure that there is no safe harbor for those violating federal laws in South Carolina,” said U.S. Attorney Corey F. Ellis. “This office will investigate and prosecute federal crimes regardless of who commits those crimes.”

“Correctional officers who break the public trust need to be held accountable,” said Bryan Stirling, Director of SCDC. “We are grateful to our partners for their hard work in this case.”

“Correctional officers are held to a higher standard and are entrusted to ensure a safe environment by supervising inmate behavior and enforcing regulations such as keeping contraband – in this case “meth” – out of prisons,” said Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “It is alleged that these officers chose to violate their oath by allowing illicit drugs to enter a prison. If so, they will be held accountable for their actions. DEA would like to thank its law enforcement partners who made this case a success.”   

Bailey and Capers each face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in federal prison if convicted.

The case was investigated by the DEA and SCDC. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Holloway is prosecuting the case.

The United States Attorney stated that all charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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