Last November, Stephen Salinas and Harry Cordero were arrested by the U.S. Marshals for accepting bribes from prisoners in return for bringing alcohol and cell phones into the prison. Cordero pleaded guilty on December 21, with his sentencing hearing to be held on March 27. Salinas pleaded guilty on January 3, and will receive his sentencing on April 11. Both men face three to 10 years in prison.
Salinas and Cordero both worked at the Willacy County Regional Detention Facility, a private prison operated by Management and Training Corporation (MTC), based in Utah. The facility was originally under contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold undocumented immigrants who were awaiting deportation proceedings. MTC then lost its' contract with ICE in 2011 due to physical and sexual assaults by the guards on prisoners. It was then used by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, until it was shut down in 2015 following a prisoner uprising that essentially destroyed the facility. The uprising followed poor medical conditions and neglect MTC at the facility. Reports in the aftermath suggested that guards instigated the incident.