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Former VRE manager sentenced to 2 years for bribes


A former Virginia Railway Express facilities manager was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria for his role in a nearly decade-long scheme in which he took in more than $350,000 in kickbacks from subcontractors.

Kevin Wirth Jannell, a 50-year-old Spotsylvania County resident, will serve two years in prison.

Federal Judge Leonie M. Brinkema also ordered Jannell to pay back $357,000 and perform 100 hours of community service. He will be on probation for two years after he gets out of prison.

In a press release, the FBI’s Washington Field Office described the investigation into the bribery case involving facilities on the Northern Virginia commuter rail service as ongoing.

“Kevin Jannell abused his position by padding his paycheck each month and playing favorites in a contracting process that should be honest and transparent,” said Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Today’s sentence will go a long way toward rebuilding the public’s trust and demonstrating that those who corrupt the contracting process will spend years in prison paying for their crimes.”

Jannell pleaded guilty on Sept. 27 to taking bribes related to federally funded programs. He provided oversight of landscaping and maintenance contracts for VRE stations and facilities.

Prosecutors said Jannell started taking kickbacks in 2003. He was paid $4,000 a month in exchange for giving favorable evaluations for subcontractors. He hid the bribes by creating a fake company and sent monthly invoices to the subcontractors for work that was never done.

The FBI and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General handled the Jannell probe.

The FBI asks that anyone with information about the case contact its Northern Virginia tip line at 703/686-6225 or send an email to

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436