Former prison employee sentenced in smuggling case

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) – A former federal prison employee has been sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to smuggle tobacco, marijuana and nude photographs to an inmate.

Federal prosecutors say 46-year-old James Lewis is a former corrections officer at the Federal Corrections Institute in Ashland. In a news release, prosecutors say court records show that from December 2010 to February 2012, Lewis conspired with inmate Gary Musick of Newport, Tenn., and Musick’s girlfriend, Cindy Gates, to introduce prohibited items into the prison.

Prosecutors say Gates would give the items to Lewis, who provided them to Musick in exchange for payment from Gates and others.

Musick was convicted of conspiracy to introduce contraband and possession of contraband and is awaiting sentencing. Gates pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor conspiracy charge and received probation. She and Lewis were both sentenced Monday.