Guard accused of smuggling drugs into jail

A corrections officer has been arrested for smuggling drugs into the Santa Fe County jail.Investigators say the jail guard used a pack of cigarettes to smuggle in cocaine and marijuana.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office says Leah Fragua, a 21-year-old rookie guard, was getting the drugs from the wife of an inmate, 25-year-old Alishia Marquez.

Detectives say the two women would meet at a local bank to exchange the drugs before Fragua would smuggle them inside the jail.

Correction officials were tipped off after listening in on an inmate’s phone calls.

The sheriff says because Fragua worked at the jail, she was not locked up with the inmates she once guarded.


Jailers Accused of Forcing Recorded Inmate Boxing Matches

SILVER CITY, N.M. —  Five jailers at the Grant County Detention Center have been charged with forcing eight inmates to fight in video-recorded boxing matches.

According to a copyright story in Wednesday’s Albuquerque Journal that cited Magistrate Court affidavits, one inmate was knocked out and another suffered a broken hand during the fights on Sept. 13 and 14.

Charged in the case were: Tobias Rodriguez, 30, of Bayard; Casey Young, 29, of Hurley; Erika Jimenez, 28, of Hurley; Gabriel Flores, 20, of Silver City; and John Paul Amador, 32, of Silver City.

Each was charged with eight counts of kidnapping, a first-degree felony, and four counts of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, a second-degree felony.

The five were arraigned Nov. 5 in Magistrate Court. Each was released on an unsecured $60,000 bond.

County Manager Jon Saari said the sheriff’s office did an internal investigation into the case. Four of the accused officers are no longer employed by the county, Saari said, and a fifth is on administrative leave.

The inmates were told to fight with boxing gloves in the detention center’s sally port but they were not given headgear or mouth guards, according to an affidavit filed by an investigator

The inmate who suffered a broken hand said he was denied medical attention because officers didn’t want anyone to find out how he was injured.

Another inmate told District Attorney’s investigator he was forced to fight at least six times on a Saturday night and three more times the next day.

The guards laughed and joked during the matches, then told the inmates not to tell anyone about what had occurred, according to an affidavit.

One inmate reported seeing officers exchange cash before a fight, and another officer told an inmate, “You made me a lot of money.”

After the fights, inmates were rewarded with a cigarette.

One of the officers, Jimenez, video-recorded the fights using her cell phone camera, according to court documents. Seventeen video clips of the fights were recovered on her cell phone, a police affidavit says.


City jailer faces shoplifting charges

A Shreveport City Jail employee is on administrative leave after being charged with shoplifting from a local business.

Jiontanelle Owens faces one count of misdemeanor theft for taking items from Village Mart in the 2500 block of Hollywood, said Sgt. Jim Taliaferro, police spokesman.

Owens, while in uniform, was seen on surveillance cameras concealing items and leaving the business without paying for them on Nov. 7.

“She was seen on store video, by store employees,” Taliaferro said. “After she left the store, they went to the area where the suspicious activities occurred and realized that there was specific clothing missing.”

Owens later confessed to taking a warm-up suit valued at less than $200, which later was returned to the store.

Owens, who was hired as a jailer in August 2007, was immediately placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation. She was issued a summons ordering her to appear in court.