Ex-prison employee in Tucson sentenced for soliciting bribe

A former employee of a federal prison in Tucson has been sentenced for soliciting a bribe three years ago.

Federal prosecutors say 34-year-old Jessica Diane Ferrell of Tucson received a five-year prison term followed by three years of supervised release.

Ferrell had previously pleaded guilty to solicitation of a bribe and falsification of records.

Authorities say Ferrell was an employee at the FCC Tucson Bureau of Prisons Facility in March 2016.

She was accused of seeking an inmate's assistance to arrange the murder of her former romantic partner.

In exchange, Ferrell agreed to provide contraband to the inmate.

She later changed her mind and reported the inmate's contraband request to her supervisor.

“Ferrell solicited an inmate to help her carry out a deadly hit on her ex-romantic partner, in exchange for bribes of contraband. As a result of the OIG’s investigative work, her plan was thwarted. Because of this successful prosecution, she will rightfully serve five years in prison, where she will not be able to further victimize her ex romantic partner or endanger the public,” said Sandra D. Barnes, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Denver Field Office.

The Department of Justice investigated the solicitation incident.