Crime

Former NC prison guard sentenced for smuggling mobile phones and other contraband to inmates

A state correctional officer who smuggled cellphones to North Carolina prison inmates will soon find out what it’s like to be an inmate.

Gregory Dustin Gouldman, 33, was sentenced in federal court on Tuesday to five years in federal prison for extortion.

Prosecutors argued that Gouldman had been smuggling contraband, including phones, tobacco and marijuana, into Polk Correctional Institution for years and selling the items to prisoners.

Gouldman, who rose to the rank of sergeant, worked as a correctional officer at Polk from 2005 to 2015. For part of his time at Polk, Gouldman worked in the supermax facility for the “the state’s most violent and assaultive offenders.”

Inmates used the phones to communicate with people outside prison and to transfer funds through Internet accounts.

State investigators began their probe of prison guards after the case of Kelvin Melton, a high-ranking gang-member recently convicted of organizing a kidnapping scheme of a Wake prosecutor’s father. Melton was able to mobilize gang members from several states through the use of contraband cell phones.

Gouldman was not named in that case.

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