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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Former Guard Indicted on Federal Bribery Charge

Former guard indicted on federal bribery charge
The Houston Chronicle - May 17, 2012

McALLEN, TX  — A South Texas man has been arrested on a federal bribery charge for smuggling a cell phone into a detention center where he worked as a guard. Federal prosecutors announced that an indictment was unsealed against 21-year-old Jorge Luis Sandoval Thursday after his arrest. Sandoval had worked at the East Hidalgo Detention Center in La Villa, which houses federal detainees for the U.S. Marshals Service. It was not immediately known if Sandoval had retained an attorney. The indictment alleges that in early 2010, Sandoval demanded and accepted a cash payment to smuggle the phone from an individual on behalf of an inmate. Sandoval was scheduled to be arraigned Friday in McAllen.


Former federal corrections officer charged with bribery 
The Monitor by Jared Taylor  -  May 17, 2012

McALLEN, TX — Authorities arrested a former federal corrections officer accused of smuggling a cellphone to an inmate at the East Hidalgo Corrections Center. Pharr resident Jorge Luis Sandoval, 21, faces one count of bribery in U.S. District Court in McAllen. A federal grand jury Tuesday returned a one-count indictment against Sandoval; it was made public following his arrest. Sandoval is charged with one count of accepting a bribe while acting under the authority of the U.S. Marshals Service as a correctional officer. He worked at the East Hidalgo Detention Center in La Villa, where the indictment states a person paid him cash to smuggle a cellphone into the prison for an inmate. Sandoval is set to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos at an arraignment and detention hearing Friday in federal court in McAllen. Court documents did not specify information about the inmate who allegedly received the cell phone from Sandoval, or the person who investigators say paid the cash bribe. The alleged bribery occurred between January and February 2010, according to the indictment unsealed Thursday. Richard Harbison, executive vice president at LCS Corrections, which owns and operates the East Hidalgo Detention Center, said Sandoval was fired after wardens at the facility learned of the suspected bribery and smuggling. “If you’re caught smuggling, first thing you do is you’re fired, and then it’s up to the Marshals or the U.S. Attorney to decide if they will press charges,” Harbison said. “There are no warnings when you smuggle contraband in — none whatsoever.” Bribery carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service investigated the case. -- Jared Taylor covers courts and general assignments for The Monitor. He can be reached at and (956) 683-4439.

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