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FBI worker pleads guilty to taking illegal gratuity

The Baltimore Sun

An FBI employee pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Baltimore to accepting an illegal gratuity from a company seeking to sell high-security paper shredders to the agency, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Curtis Jones, 47, who lives in Annapolis and was a physical security specialist based in the FBI's Washington headquarters, was responsible for negotiating a purchase agreement for up to $2 million worth of shredders that meet new national security standards for classified documents, federal prosecutors said.

After visiting a company not identified by prosecutors and approving their machines for purchase, Jones and his family joined the company's top executives on a Caribbean cruise over the 2003-2004 New Year's holiday, prosecutors said. The value of the trip was about $7,500.

Chief Judge Benson Everett Legg set sentencing for Sept. 18. The maximum punishment is two years in prison and a $250,000 fine, prosecutors said.

Man gets 33 years for assault

A 22-year-old man being held at the Baltimore City Detention Center on an attempted-murder charge was sentenced yesterday to 33 years in prison for assaulting a correctional officer by throwing a cup of excrement on him, the city state's attorney said.

A Circuit Court jury convicted Dedrick Strong of second-degree assault April 1 for attacking the officer while he was being held pending his trial, which is scheduled for Aug. 12.

Prosecutors said the officer was hit in the face, arm, neck, back and leg in the Oct. 2 attack but was not seriously injured.

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