Corrections officer charged with sex abuse of girl

PALMER – An official with the state Department of Corrections confirmed today that a Palmer Correctional Center officer has been arrested for sexual abuse of a minor.

Director of Institutions Garland Armstrong said officer Joel Larson, a 14-year veteran with the department, was arrested away from his work site on Friday.

In an affidavit, Wasilla police officer Rick Manrique, states that he re-opened a case in which a Palmer a teenager accused Larson of sexual abuse in 2006 but later recanted the statement under pressure from a family member. She was sentenced at that time for filing a false report.

During an interview in August with Manrique, the girl said she “is tired of living the family lie and is ready to do something about it.”

On Sept. 24, Manrique had the girl wear a wire and as well as carry a recording device when she met Larson at a grocery store in Palmer. During the conversation, Larson allegedly recalled incidents of sexual relations with the now 17-year-old girl.

Manrique contacted Larson Sept. 29, but Larson admitted nothing.

He was arrested on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and five counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, all felonies.

A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 6 in front of Magistrate David Zwink.


California Deputy Fired after Arrest


A sheriff’s detention deputy was arrested and fired amid allegations he solicited a sex act from an inmate.

Federico Tafoya, 26, was arrested Friday after sheriff’s detectives received reports that he had been acting inappropriately with one of the inmates.

Authorities said Tafoya was an extra help deputy assigned to the work release program at Sheriff Headquarters.

They said he was supervising inmates when he solicited a sex act in one of the buildings on the property from a 20-year-old inmate assigned to the program.

They said the inmate was not injured or physically assaulted; however, Tafoya was terminated.

Tafoya was employed for four months with the sheriff’s office. He is currently out on bail.

He faces one count of false imprisonment, one count of causing a person to expose him or herself and one count of attempted oral copulation under color of authority.


Former sheriff’s employee indicted on sex charges


A former employee of the Sevier County sheriff’s office has been charged with having sex with an inmate.

A news release from the District Attorney’s office says Ty Paul Lintner of Sevierville was named in a six-count presentment returned by a grand jury charging him with multiple counts of sexual contact with an inmate.

The incidents allegedly took place between September 2006 and February 2007.

Lintner was being held in lieu of $25,000 bond and is scheduled for an Oct. 14 arraignment.

Lintner has also been accused in two federal civil-rights lawsuits of sexually harassing two prisoners at the jail. The latest lawsuit was filed in July while a similar suit was filed in February.

County officials and Lintner denied all allegations in the February suit. Lintner’s attorney, Jeffrey Ward of Greeneville, said he had not seen the new lawsuit and could not comment.



Prison-sex confession stands

A prison psychologist given a three-year sentence for having sex with an inmate patient will go to prison after the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld her conviction Thursday.

Anna Clark, now 57, was convicted of third-degree sexual assault for her dalliance with Dan Burns, an inmate under her care.

Clark argued on appeal that her confession to an Arkansas State Police investigator about her sex with Burns was based on false promises.

Clark said the investigator told her he would keep the matter out of the press, keep her out of jail and even hoped that she’d retain her psychology license.

But Justice Annabelle Clinton Imber, writing for the court, said Clark had waived her Miranda rights and knew that having sex with an inmate was a crime.

“In viewing the totality of the circumstances, we conclude that [Clark ] ’s confession was voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently given,” Imber wrote.

Clark also contended that because the investigator didn’t tape the first 75 minutes of the interview, he violated the due-process clause in Article 2, Section 8 of the Arkansas Constitution.

No Arkansas law requires the police to record an interrogation in its entirety, Imber wrote.

But, Imber wrote, “we believe that the criminal-justice system will be better served if our supervisory authority is brought to bear on this issue” and announced the court will refer the “practicability” of adopting a formal rule on electronic recordings to its Committee on Criminal Practice for study.

But even if the court had a rule on taping confessions “any resulting error would be harmless in light of otherwise overwhelming evidence of [Clark ] ’s guilt,” Imber wrote.

A correctional officer walked in on Clark and Burns having sex, and Burns admitted to the relationship, the judge wrote.

Clark has been free on an appeals bond since her August 2007 sentencing, according to Department of Correction records, said prison spokesman George Brewer.

Her time out on bond won’t count toward her sentence, he said.

At the Supreme Court, the case is CR 07-1276, Anna Clark v. State of Arkansas.


Former prison guards face sentencing this morning

PROVIDENCE — Two former correction officers convicted of assaulting four inmates are scheduled for sentencing this morning.

Former Capt. Gualter Botas and Kenneth Viveiros were found guilty of 11 counts of simple assault and battery for roughing up the inmates in Botas’ office in 2005 and 2006.

Sentencing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. today in Superior Court, Providence.

Special Assistant Attorney General Molly K. Cote, who prosecuted the case, has said she might seek jail time for both men.

Each misdemeanor count of simple assault and battery carries a penalty of one year in prison.

On July 31, a jury returned a judgment of guilty on all counts against Botas, 39, of Pawtucket; and Viveiros, 56, of North Providence. The jurors deliberated for less than four hours before reaching their verdict.

Matthew Gumkowski, Robert Houghton, Anthony Romano and Jose Gonzalez all took the witness stand and testified that Botas summoned them to his office at the Adult Correctional Institutions and administered beatings over contraband. Houghton, Romano and Gonzalez testified that Botas repeatedly struck them with a phonebook.

Botas was convicted of seven counts of simple assault on the inmates; while Viveiros was found guilty of four counts of simple assault on Houghton, Romano and Gonzalez.


Ex-juvenile justice officer faces solicitation charges

TALLAHASSEE — A former Department of Juvenile Justice employee faces charges of sending obscene pictures to a teen-aged girl and trying to meet her for sex, Attorney General Bill McCollum said Wednesday.

Parris Woods, a corporal with DJJ, was arrested after an investigation by the school resource officer at Boca Ciega High School.

The case was handled with the Gulfport Police Department and McCollum’s CyberCrime Unit. A 14-year-old girl reported that she received telephone text messages from a man who said he worked at a juvenile-detention center where the girl had recently been taken. She said the cell phone messages included nude images and some other materials, along with a suggestion that they meet for sex.

School Resource Officer Steven Beltran, who had been certified by the state CyberCrime Unit, began the investigation, working with McCollum’s Tampa office to set up a meeting. McCollum and Gulfport Police Chief Curt Willocks said Woods, 27, was at the meeting place when police arrived.

In Tallahassee, the DJJ said Woods was immediately fired.

The attorney general’s office said Woods was charged with one count of soliciting a minor for unlawful sexual conduct, one count of transmitting harmful materials to a minor and one count of traveling to meet a minor for sexual purposes. All of the charges are felonies.


DRUGS: Kennewick prison guard accused of taking drugs to work

A Washington State Penitentiary corrections officer was arrested Monday for bringing drugs into the Walla Walla prison, officials said.

Camren James Jones, 20, of Kennewick, is suspected of taking cocaine, heroine, methadone and marijuana into the prison, with plans to deliver drugs to inmates, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reported.

Walla Walla police Sgt. Matt Wood described the heroin found on Jones as being about the size of two golf balls, the newspaper said.

Jones resigned shortly after his arrest.

The arrest was made as part of an investigation into delivering contraband to inmates.

For more crime news, see Wednesday’s Herald and


Prison Worker Charged With Smuggling Contraband

DENVER (CBS4) ― A former religious service counselor at a Florence prison was charged Monday with providing contraband, cigarettes and heroin, to an inmate.

John E. Thacker, 42, of Pueblo, who worked at the high-security U.S. Penitentiary, was charged in U.S. District Court.

An investigator said the inmate told him the inmate sold the cigarettes to other inmates for $200 a pack and they resold the packs for about $500 each.

Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are prohibited in federal prisons and considered substances that threaten “the order and discipline” of prisons, the investigator, Paul Sullivan, wrote in a court affidavit.

The investigator said Thacker “indicated he brought (the inmate) approximately 20 cartons of cigarettes on 4 or 5 occasions in 2006.”

Sullivan said another inmate and the inmate’s wife told the investigator that the wife gave Thacker $1,500 to smuggle in contraband, including a small quantity of heroin hidden inside cigarette cartons.

The investigator said Thacker stated he had been offered money, but denied he received any money and denied knowing that heroin was in the cartons. He resigned his job with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

D.A. Files Charges Against Denver Deputy, Officer

The Denver district attorney filled charges against a Denver sheriff’s deputy and a police officer Monday.

The sheriff’s deputy is being charged with assault for allegedly assaulting an arrestee while being processed at the Denver City Jail, said D.A. Mitch Morrissey.The alleged assault happened in May.

Morrissey said the deputy, identified as Daniel Steckman, 34, is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 7.


Female jail officer is arrested, fired

A Florence County jail officer has been arrested and fired from her job after deputies said she had inappropriate communications with an inmate.

Roberta Mention, 51, was arrested Tuesday and charged with misconduct in office, the (Florence) Morning News reports.

Florence County Sheriff’s Lt. Brett Camp says authorities began investigating Mention after they believe she received written materials from an inmate at the jail in August and delivered them to someone outside the facility.


Newton Co. Detention Officer Arrested for Stealing from Inmates

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. (MyFOX ATLANTA) – A Newton County detention officer was released from jail Thursday after being arrested for allegedly stealing from an inmate.  Thirty-one-year-old Rededria English worked for the Newton County jail for three years, but now she is without a job and facing criminal charges.

English was arrested Monday at work after investigators said she arranged to use an inmates’ child support debit card. Investigators said English agreed to deposit cash into the inmates’ jail account but held on to the card for her personal gain.

Video: Newton Co. Detention Officer Arrested for Stealing from Inmates
FOX 5’s George Franco Reports

“There were two separate times and it was a total of 280 dollars,” said Investigator Sharon Stewart of the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

English was fired and now she faces charges of theft by taking, financial transaction card fraud and violation of oath by a public officer.

The Newton County Sheriff’s Office said detention officers weren’t supposed to handle an inmates money and that’s why there is an ATM inside the jail lobby behind bars.

Cash can be deposited or withdrawn by inmates or their friends and family.

English was out of jail on bond Thursday, but investigators said when she was arrested she was held at a different jail for her own safety.


Rikers Island honchos canned before cop killer Lee Woods scandal

Sunday, September 14th 2008, 10:34 PM

Top brass at a Rikers Island jail got the ax a month before guards there were accused of giving drugs, booze and sex to suspected cop killer Lee Woods, the Daily News has learned.

“We were aware that the jail wasn’t operating properly,” Correction Department spokesman Stephen Morello said Sunday.

Carmine Labruzzo replaced Robert Shaw as warden at the maximum-security George R. Vierno Center on June 1. Four new deputies and a captain started with him.

“We were dissatisfied with performance at the jail and placed a new management team there,” Morello said. “They were put there to make things right, and that’s what they’ve been doing.”

Woods, accused getaway driver in last year’s slaying of NYPD Officer Russel Timoshenko, tripped a metal detector on June 25, leading his jailers to believe he swallowed a key.

Later that day, rookie Officers Auguste Durand, 31, and Michael Santiago, 24, were fired for allegedly giving Woods marijuana, cigarettes, rolling papers and liquor.

Another officer, Kadessha Mullgrav, was transferred amid allegations she had sexual relations with Woods.


Jail Guard Arrested

Another corrections officer at the Columbiana County Jail, Is charged with providing contraband to inmates.  Nathaniel Barnes of Youngstown, is charged with smuggling marijuana and cigarette tobacco into the facility.  It’s actually the second time in less than a year that a corrections officer has been charged with similar crimes. Task force officials say this most recent arrest was part of an ongoing investigation that came after agents learned one or more corrections officers may have been involved in the scheme.


Hudson County corrections officer gets 5 years for trying to smuggle drugs into jail

A former Hudson County corrections officer was sentenced to five years in prison this morning after pleading guilty to drug possession with intent to distribute for attempting to smuggle marijuana and heroin into the county jail.

“I’m just very sorry,” said Mark Anthony Figueroa, 32, of Bayonne, before being sentenced by state Superior Court Judge Kevin Callahan, who snapped back, “Very sorry? You ruined your life . . . You took an oath.”

After the sentencing one of Figueroa’s family members began hyperventilating and had to be held up by two people in the courthouse hallway as she repeated, “I hate you. I hate you,” but seemed to switch to “I love you.”

Callahan said he would have sentenced Figueroa to 20 years in prison if he had been convicted on all the charges he originally faced, which included seven drug counts, attempted official misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse.

Figueroa, who was arrested in October near Lincoln Park, eventually struck a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty in July to drug possession with intent to distribute within 500 feet of public property, Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Pete Stoma said.

The corrections officer allegedly bought marijuana from an undercover detective and it was believed the pot was to be smuggled into the Hudson County jail in Kearny, officials said. After the arrest, police recovered the marijuana, as well as additional pot in a blue balloon and three glassine envelopes containing heroin, officials said.

Figueroa’s 6-year-old child was with him when he made the drug deal, officials said. As part of the sentence, Figueroa can never again hold public employment.

“He was the bread winner for his family and he really did a remarkably stupid thing,” said Figueroa’s attorney, Dennis McAlevy. “He has forfeited his job and all the perks that go with it. He has dishonored his shield and his job.”

But McAlevy did ask Callahan to be as lenient as he could, saying “I think my client is for the most part a good family person.”

Stoma asked the judge to “send a message to anyone else who might consider doing what Mr. Figueroa did.”

Figueroa was led from the defense table in handcuffs. For his own safety, Callahan ordered that Figueroa be housed some place other than in the Hudson County jail until he is transferred to state prison.

Callahan’s sentence does not include a minimum amount of time Figueroa must serve before becoming eligible for parole.


Drug-dealing corrections officer to be sentenced Thursday

Mark Anthony Figueroa


A Hudson County Department of Corrections officer faces up to five years in prison and will be barred forever from public employment when he is sentenced Thursday for dealing drugs, officials said.

Mark Anthony Figueroa, 32, of Bayonne, will be sentenced at 9 a.m. by Superior Court Judge Kevin Callahan under a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to drug possession with intent to distribute within 500 feet of public property, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said.

Figueroa, who was arrested in October, faces up to five years in prison, with no minimum amount of time he must serve before becoming eligible for parole, DeFazio said. Figueroa pleaded guilty on July 8.

The corrections officer allegedly bought marijuana from an undercover detective and it was believed the pot was to be smuggled into the Hudson County jail in Kearny, officials said at the time. Police also found additional pot in a blue balloon, as well as three glassine envelopes containing heroin, officials said.

Figueroa was originally charged with six more drug counts, officials said, as well as endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse, for allegedly having his 6-year-old child with him when he made the drug deal.

Figueroa had been a county corrections officer seven years, Hudson County Department of Corrections Director Oscar Aviles said at the time.


Correction Officer arrested in theft of neighbor’s house

A corrections officer at the John Middleton Unit was arrested Thursday in connection with the January burglary of his neighbor’s home, Taylor County Jail records show.

Dusty Logan Fox, 26, is accused of breaking into his neighbor’s home in the 3000 block of West Lake Road on Jan. 15 and stealing a viola, which he later pawned, according to an arrest affidavit for Fox.

According to Reporter-News police blotter files, Fox’s neighbor reported that more than $5,000 of furniture, dishes, jewelry and electronic equipment had been stolen. Fox admitted to the theft in a statement to investigators.


Island corrections officer arrested on drug charges

A corrections officer from the Livingston section of Staten Island found himself on the inside of a jail cell last night following his arrest on drug charges.

Alexander Baez, 27, of Davis Avenue, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance after police stopped his car near Forest Avenue and Amity Place shortly before 8 p.m.

A cop source said the officers found “a small amount of cocaine on him.”

Baez, a city corrections officer assigned to Rikers Island, was off-duty when he was picked up.


Correctional officer charged

A resident magistrate presiding the Spanish Town Resident Magis-trate’s Court warned investigators that they need to secure exhibits in criminal matters to maintain the integrity of the Crown’s case.

Resident Magistrate Marcia Dunbar-Greene gave the warning yesterday, while presiding over a case involving Clifford William, 37, a correctional officer who is charged with breaching the Corrections Act.

Packages of cigarettes

Investigating officer, Detective Ser-geant Ottie Williams of the Spanish Town Police Station, told the court that on January 4, this year, authorities at the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre, where the officer works, searched him and found several packages of cigarettes strapped to his legs and other parts of his body.

He told the court that a file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions who ruled that Williams be charged.

The officer told the court that the authorities at the prison are in pos-session of the exhibit, but the RM expressed concern and told him that he needs to secure the exhibit as this could hamper the progress of the Crown’s case. Williams’ bail was extended until October 13.


Ex-corrections officer gets probation

BEULAH — A judge sentenced a former Benzie County Sheriff’s Department corrections officer to two years of probation.

Douglas Ray Randolph, 37, pleaded guilty in July to interfering with a police investigation. Benzie Sheriff Robert Blank fired Randolph in 2006 after an investigation into a relationship he had with a female inmate, and Randolph admitted during his plea that he lied to investigators as they probed the relationship.

He filed a union grievance after his firing, but an arbitrator eventually upheld the decision. Authorities charged him with the misdemeanor interference count shortly after.


Ga. Correction officer arrested after standoff in Virginia

Police said 42-year-old Earl Demetrius Dinkins barricaded himself in the Days Inn hotel early Friday, but came out and was taken into custody around 10:30 a.m. He faces charges in Georgia of murder, aggravated assault, burglary and firearms possession in the death of 34-year-old Sirlinda Vernesa Price.

Police found Price dead at her August, Ga., apartment early Sunday. Price’s boyfriend, Melroy Browman, also was injured but was able to drive himself to a hospital.