A 39-year-old Coolidge man was arrested last week by the FBI on charges of trying to bring cocaine into a Corrections Corporation of America prison here.

Juan Nunez was charged with attempted provision of a prohibited object to an inmate and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

Nunez has been a corrections officer at CCA’s Central Arizona Detention Center. The CCA facility houses inmates for the federal government.

The criminal complaint alleges that since Oct. 30, Nunez had been negotiating with an inmate to bring cocaine into the prison from an outside source on the inmate’s behalf.

On Nov. 6 he met with an undercover FBI agent acting as the outside source. During the meeting, Nunez accepted half an ounce of cocaine for the inmate and a $1,600 payment for agreeing to smuggle the cocaine into the facility.

Nunez was arrested after he took the cocaine and money. At his initial appearance Friday in federal court in Phoenix, Nunez was held over for a detention hearing set for Monday.

A conviction for trying to bring a prohibited object to an inmate in this case carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine or both, and a conviction for possession of cocaine for sale carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a $1 million fine or both.

In determining an actual sentence, the judge ultimately assigned to the case will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, but is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

The investigation is being conducted by the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Marana Police Department, the Tucson Police Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Frederick Battista, an assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, is the prosecutor.

source: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20196245&BRD=1817&PAG=461&dept_id=222076&rfi=6

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