3 West Texas prison workers indicted on charges of smuggling contraband for inmates

PECOS, Texas —Three employees at a county-owned but privately managed West Texas prison have been indicted on charges that they took bribes to smuggle in contraband, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
Moises B. Martinez Jr., a prison case manager, and guard Sylvia Castillo Chairez were indicted last week in Midland. Jacob C. Guzman was indicted on Jan. 28, though his Midland lawyer, Dan Wade, believes a second indictment was also issued last week.

All three defendants worked at the Reeves County Detention Center in Pecos.

Martinez and Chairez turned themselves in Tuesday morning. Guzman turned himself in earlier.

Investigators said the three are accused of taking cash from inmates to smuggle in contraband including tobacco and cell phones.

According to an indictment against Guzman, investigators allege the guard was paid $100 by someone in Tennessee to smuggle tobacco into the prison in September 2008. When the tobacco was found during a search before Guzman could go into the jail, the indictment alleges, he tried to destroy it.

Wade declined to comment on the case against Guzman Tuesday.

Court records do not list lawyers for Martinez or Chairez.

Investigators said Martinez is accused of taking five bribes, ranging from $500 to $900 to smuggle contraband into the prison between June and July 2008.

Chairez is accused of taking six bribes of $500 to $1,100 to smuggle cell phones into the prison between November 2007 and June 2008. Investigators said Chairez was paid by someone in New York.

The Reeves County Detention Center, a sprawling prison complex at the edge of Pecos, is owned by the county but run by Boca Raton, Fla.-based GEO Group Inc. The prison houses about 3,000 federal criminal immigrant inmates.

The facility suffered widespread damage in two riots in as many months in December and January. Relatives of inmates at the jail have claimed that poor conditions, including a lack of medical care, prompted the inmates to riot. County officials have said repairs could cost up to $20 million.

The charges announced Tuesday are not related to either riot.

source: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008874731_prisonindictments.html?syndication=rss

One Response

  1. Thats good , put his ares in jail

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