HOUSTON Four parole officers from two Texas Department of Criminal Justice offices in Houston were indicted for accepting payoffs from parolees, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced Monday.

April L. Carson, 35, of Missouri City, and Crystal M. Washington, aka Crystal Bureau, 52, of Houston, were employed at the TDCJ office located at 2410 Hamilton St., while Darlene J. Muhammad, 42, and Ernie Rogers, 56, both of Houston, worked at the Houston TDCJ Parole Office at 8345 Telephone Road.

The four were taken into custody Monday and made their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge George Hanks in afternoon.

According the indictment, all of the defendants are responsible for the supervision of inmates within the state of Texas. Included in this responsibility is the supervision of parolees who travel between states and the supervision of their activities to ensure they do not engage in criminal conduct.

Each parole officer named in the indictment allegedly accepted money in order to allow the parolee to continue their illegal narcotics trafficking and distribution activity.

Specifically, the indictment alleges each officer accepted payoffs from parolees in the amount of $1,000 to $3000 on at least one occasion in order to allow them to continue their criminal behavior.

If convicted, each faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a possible $250,000 fine.

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