Las Vegas, Nevada - Billy Joe West, 57, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty Monday to misusing his position as a supervisor at a federally contracted drug testing facility to enrich himself by soliciting and accepting bribes from supervisees on federal supervision in exchange for concealing their positive and missed drug tests, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI.
West pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey to an information charging one count of prevention of communication of supervised release and probation violation. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 8, 2020.
According to court documents, West was a supervisor at WestCare Nevada, Inc., a federal contractor that conducted, among other services, court-ordered urinalysis drug testing of supervisees who are on federal probation and supervised release. His responsibilities included administering urinalysis drug testing.
West admitted that, between June 21, 2018, and March 19, 2020, he misled U.S. Probation Officers through a scheme to solicit and accept payments from supervisees in exchange for reporting a false negative drug test to the U.S. Probation Office. In one instance, in February 2020, in exchange for a $200 cash bribe, West falsely reported a negative drug test for a supervisee.
The scheme caused over 100 false reports to be made to the U.S. Probation Office. As a result of the false negative reports provided by West and other WestCare employees, the supervisees’ Probation Officers were deceived into believing that these supervisees were complying with court-ordered term of their supervised release. In fact, these supervisees had violated terms of their supervised release by either missing mandatory drug tests or testing positive for controlled substances.
West faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This case was the product of an investigation by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Oliva is prosecuting the case.