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Jail Watch: Drop in the Bucket as Cameron County Jail Guard Caught Smuggling Drugs Into the Big House

Down in Cameron County, which is right on the Tex-Mex border, there was a Big Bust last month: a detention officer (read that, jail guard) was busted for smuggling drugs into the county jail (better known as the Carrialez Rucker Detention Center).

Seems the Evildoing Guard was caught as he met with two guys and took possession of a bunch of marijuana that he was going to cart into the jail. This Evildoing Guard had the misfortune (read that, stupidity) to meet with an undercover DEA agent and a “confidential source” (read that, snitch) when he made the pick up.

Now, here’s the interesting part to this story. He’s been charged with a Class B misdemeanor (possession of marijuana) and a 3d degree felony (intro of a prohibited substance into a correctional facility) but there’s nothing on any sale being involved.

Apparently, he took the stuff without any cash being exchanged at that time.

What’s the Guard Saying?

Gabel Gonzalez says he’s innocent. He’s telling everyone that he was just taking some photos to an inmate, out of the kindness of his heart, and he knew nothing at all about any drugs. Seems the inmate was female, and the guard is saying he was taking some photos to her at the request of her husband.

What’s Happening Next?

They’re sending this to a grand jury, and Guard Gonzalez says he’s gonna hire a lawyer if the case goes to trial.

There’s a Bigger Story Here … Apparently, Cameron County Jail Reeks of Corruption.

Well, that Cameron County jail sure is interesting. Just a cursory surf of the web brought up the following:

In January 2008, the Texas Jail Project issued a statement reporting concerns that the Cameron County jail had the worst treatment of women inmates in the state.

In December 2005, a Cameron County jailer was facing federal charges after being caught using a federal crime database to warn a drug traffiker about a warrant against him.

In June 2005, the Cameron County sheriff (read that, the jail boss) was arrested by federal agents for various bad acts.

The Only Good News Here?

Apparently, the federal agencies are at work down in Harlingen, since a DEA agent is the one who busted the guard, and the feds were the ones who arrested (can you believe that?) the Sheriff awhile back.

And, groups like the Texas Jail Project and reporters like those at the Brownsville Herald (and this blogger) are giving voice to the wrongdoing down there.

Bottom Line – Guard Isn’t Acting Worried about These Charges

This guard doesn’t sound too worried if he hasn’t bothered to hire a lawyer — and it’s awfully fishy that they are taking his case to a grand jury. Please.

So, for now, stay the heck away from Harlingen, right?



Brownsville Herald

Highbeam Research


Texas Jail Project

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