DUBLIN – A former correctional officer was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for sexually abusing inmates and making false statements while he was employed at the federal women’s prison in Dublin, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Andrew Jones, 36, of Clovis, pleaded guilty on Aug. 17 to six counts of sexual abuse of a ward involving three inmates and one count of making false statements.
Jones supervised inmates who worked in the food services department at Federal Correctional Institute Dublin, prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday, citing his plea agreement. The former correctional officer admitted that, between July 2020 and June 2021, he sexually abused inmates in multiple places near the kitchen, including a bathroom, warehouse and room where kitchen utensils were kept.
Jones is one of eight correctional officers to have been charged with federal crimes involving sexual misconduct at the prison in the past three years and the fourth to have been sentenced, according to prosecutors. All of the sentences so far have exceeded sentencing guidelines, with Jones receiving the harshest punishment to date.
“As the defendant’s guilty plea and today’s sentencing demonstrate, (Federal Bureau of Prisons) employees who abuse their positions of authority and assault those in their custody will be held to account,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a statement.
One of Jones’ attorneys, Ramsey Fisher, argued in a sentencing memorandum that his client deserved a sentence in the middle of the guideline range, or about 35 months. Fisher also said Jones shouldn’t receive a punishment greater than the 70 months former warden Ray Garcia received after a jury convicted him of sexually abusing inmates.
“There is no justification for imposing a higher sentence on Mr. Jones,” Fisher said.
While Garcia received just shy of six years, the government recommended that he be sentenced to 15 years, prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum of their own.
“Here, in recognition that Jones has actually taken responsibility for his sexual abuse of (the victims), the government believes that 96 months – a little more than half of what the government recommended for Garcia – is the appropriate sentence for Jones,” prosecutors said.
Prosecutors also noted in their memorandum that Jones engaged in more egregious conduct than Garcia.
“And although both Garcia and Jones used the coercive powers inherent in their respective positions to manipulate and abuse women they were supposed to protect, Jones also used force, threats and verbal and physical abuse to sow fear among the prisoners, thus rendering the already powerless women even more vulnerable to his sexual predation,” prosecutors said.
In addition to the eight-year prison term, Jones was ordered to serve 10 years of supervised release after he leaves prison. He is set to return to court in February for a hearing to consider issues related to restitution.
Ismail Ramsey, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, said the government’s investigation into criminal activities at the prison is not yet finished.
“So far, seven correctional officers have been convicted of felony conduct involving sexual abuse of female inmates and an eighth employee has been charged with similar conduct,” Ramsey said in a statement.
“To be clear, this investigation is not over,” he said. “Correctional officers at FCI Dublin are trusted to secure the safety of inmates at the institution; the Department of Justice will continue to hold accountable any correctional officer who violates that solemn responsibility.”