Woman charged with aiding inmate in southern Illinois

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by Kyle Tons/ KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 21 at 2:45 PM

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- A federal grand jury indicted a Californian woman Thursday for working to defraud and aid a prisoner in southern Illinois.

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Stephen R. Wigginton confirmed that Tonya Denise Jackson, 45, was indicted for scheming with Michael Ronell Ussery, Jr. to defraud a federal inmate.

According to reports, through his relationship with a federal inmate, Ussery solicited money and personal identifiers from an inmate, “FB”.  Ussery allegedly made false offers to “FB” that if “FB” provided funds to pay for Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) operations, that “FB” would serve a shorter prison sentence for his cooperation.

Jackson is alleged to have schemed to defraud “FB” of $145,000 from his bank account.  Now with access to “FB’s” money, Jackson moved the money to her own bank accounts.

Ussery pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud, mail fraud and wire fraud.  The district court sentenced Ussery to 61 months in jail.  An additional co-conspirator Catherine Sims pled guilty to charges and was sentenced to one year and one day in jail.

Jackson’s charges can carry a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and not more than 3 years of supervised release.

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