Okeechobee correctional officer arrested on bribery, drug charges

Okeechobee correctional officer arrested for bribery, drug charges (MGN)

A 29-year-old Okeechobee correctional officer was arrested Thursday for allegedly accepting bribes to smuggle in contraband, authorities say.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Jeremiah Payne used his position as an officer to take bribes to smuggle contraband into the Okeechobee Correctional Institution.

They say this happened for about a year.

Payne not only received cash bribes, but he was also given synthetic marijuana for his own use as a form of payment for bringing in the contraband, according to the FDLE.

The FDLE says they started investigating Payne last month after they were asked by the Department of Corrections Office of Inspector General.

The Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office also helped.

Payne now faces charges of bribery, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana under 20 grams, and attempted introduction of contraband into a correctional facility.

He was taken to the Okeechobee County Jail. The Office of the State Attorney 19th Judicial Circuit will prosecute the case.

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