Lavon Spence pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud at the Federal Courthouse Tuesday afternoon. His attorney Teri Donaldson said although the guard did not actually commit the act of mail fraud, one of his co-conspirators did, and under the law he can be convicted.
Donaldson says her client is actually pleading guilty to "depriving inmates of honest services." In exchange for that plea, other charges of bribery and witness tampering against Spence were dismissed.
He admitted to a judge Tuesday that he acted alone when he traded sex for contraband at the prison, that he had only heard rumors of other guards doing the same. However, he did not report what he heard and that is why the other guards facing charges are considered co-conspirators.
Two other FCI guards have pleaded guilty in the scandal that ended in gunfire back in June. A federal agent and another guard under investigation in the scandal were killed. Spence's sentencing is scheduled for December. He's facing up to 20 years in prison. Two others are scheduled to go to trial at the end of the month.
The bribery charges for trading sex for contraband, dismissed against Spence, were considered misdemeanors because the indictment lists sexual contact made prior to January 1.
Congress changed the law, making it a felony at the start of this year for any guard charged with having sexual contact with an inmate inside a federal prison.
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