December 4, 2023


Future Depends on What You Do

Former Prisoner Transportation Officer Sentenced for Civil Legal rights Offense | OPA

A previous prisoner transportation officer was sentenced these days to 24 months in federal jail, followed by 1 calendar year of supervised release, for violating the civil rights of pretrial detainees entrusted to his treatment.

On Sept. 28, 2022, a federal jury convicted Anthony Buntyn, 55, a former prisoner transport officer, of violating the civil legal rights of pretrial detainees in his custody. Precisely, the jury convicted Buntyn of remaining deliberately indifferent to situations on the prisoner transportation van that posed a chance of serious harm to the well being and security of the detainees entrusted to his care. The jury even further observed that Buntyn’s deliberate indifference to the situations on the prisoner transportation van resulted in bodily injury to one particular of the pretrial detainees who had been on the van for various times.

In accordance to court documents and the proof released at demo, Buntyn was a prisoner transportation officer employed by Prisoner Transportation Services of The united states (PTS), a enterprise hired by local jails and prisons all through the region to transport individuals who experienced been arrested pursuant to out-of-point out warrants and desired to be transported back to the states that had issued the warrants. Buntyn was the supervising officer on a March 2017 PTS transportation that stopped in New Mexico during a cross-region vacation. Proof at demo established that Buntyn knowingly designed, and in any other case subjected the detainees to, unsafe, unpleasant and unhealthy disorders on the prisoner transport van. Exclusively, proof at demo showed that Buntyn would retaliate in opposition to detainees who complained of transport problems by handcuffing the detainees powering their backs and forcing them to continue being for hours in a smaller segregation cage inside the van, depriving detainees of foods and accessibility to water even though they remained in the cage, cranking up the heat in the now-warm van in retaliation for detainees complaining that, as they handed by the southwestern desert, they were in threat of overheating, and failing to deliver the detainees with expected restroom breaks until eventually the detainees were being still left with no option but to urinate in empty bottles or on the floor.

“Prisoner transport officers, even when they are employed by private corporations, should abide by the laws and defend the constitutional legal rights of the persons in their custody,” said Assistant Attorney Typical Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Legal rights Division. “The department will continue on to vigorously enforce our nation’s legal guidelines to assure that officers who split the law — which includes people who are driving the nation’s backroads in prisoner transportation vans and may thus wrongly consider they can act with impunity — are held accountable.”

“Detainees are entitled to basic human dignity,” stated U.S. Legal professional Alexander M.M. Uballez for the District of New Mexico. “Those who are liable for their detention, from transportation staff to legislation enforcement and corrections officers, have the exact obligation to protect the legal rights and basic safety of their costs. Any abuse of detainees or failure to present basic requirements is a violation of that have faith in and a violation of the regulation, and it will be roundly prosecuted.”

“During the cross-county transport of these folks, a end was made by the PTS at the Shawnee County Detention Heart in Topeka, Kansas. If not for the Detention Centre notifying the FBI of the detainees’ condition upon arrival, the FBI may perhaps have hardly ever recognised or been equipped to seek out justice for these victims. Buntyn’s actions disparage the quite main of what he was employed to do – safeguard these persons when in his custody,” mentioned Exclusive Agent in Charge Charles Dayoub of the Kansas Town Area Business office. “He knowingly disregarded the detainees’ fundamental civil rights, placing these people in harm’s way. Today’s sentencing demonstrates the FBI’s exceptional capability to conduct a successful nationwide investigation alongside our regulation enforcement companions.”

Buntyn was acquitted of a use of force and an obstruction of justice demand.

Assistant Legal professional Typical Clarke, U.S. Legal professional Uballez and Particular Agent in Demand Dayoub built the announcement.

This FBI Kansas City Area Workplace investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Legal professional Kimberly A. Brawley for the District of New Mexico and Trial Attorney Laura Gilson of the Civil Legal rights Division’s Prison Division, with guidance from Exclusive Litigation Counsel Samantha Trepel, prosecuted the scenario.