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Arizona prison employee sentenced for role in murder-for-hire case

(Federal Bureau of Prisons Photo)

PHOENIX – A former Arizona prison employee was sentenced to five years behind bars last week for her role in a murder-for-hire case, authorities said.

Jessica Diane Ferrell of Tucson was sentenced Thursday after previously pleading guilty to solicitation of a bribe and falsification of records, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

“Ferrell solicited an inmate to help her carry out a deadly hit on her ex-romantic partner, in exchange for bribes of contraband,” Sandra D. Barnes, special agent in charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Denver field office, said in the release.

“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.”

Ferrell was working at the Federal Correctional Complex in Tucson in March 2016 when she asked an inmate to arrange the murder of her former romantic partner, the release said.

The inmate provided Ferrell with a list of contraband requested as payment. Ferrell changed her mind and reported the list to her supervisor but didn’t mention her arrangement with the inmate.

Ferrell had already provided the inmate with information to identify her intended victim when she reported to her supervisor, but she didn’t do anything to protect her former romantic partner afterward, the release said.

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