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Guards Charged by Federal Agencies for Smuggling Contraband in San Antonio Prison

News broke in late December that guards from a privately run San Antonio federal prison is under investigation by the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration for contraband and drug smuggling. The San Antonio Express News reported that two guards of the Central Texas Detention Facility were indicted by both agencies for smuggling drugs to inmates. “The jail, which is run by the GEO Group of Florida, has had a rash of contraband in recent years that includes cellphones, drugs and other prohibited items, court records show,” the article states.

The two guards, Abigail Jolynn Abrego and Jewel Roberto Jefferson, both pleaded not guilty to the charges. They were indicted with other non-employees, including two prisoners. “According to court records, Abrego and Belmares met Nov. 12 with an undercover FBI agent and agreed that Abrego would smuggle crystal methamphetamine to a GEO inmate in exchange for $1,500,” Express News reported. Jefferson also agreed to smuggle heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine.  

The Central Texas Detention Facility is a Bexar County-owned detention center operated by the GEO Group that primarily incarcerates pre-trial detainees for the U.S. Marshals Service and has also held immigration detainees for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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This is not the first case of smuggling at the facility, operated by private prison company in GEO Group. In 2011, the parents of Albert Gomez, Jr. sued the facility when their son overdosed of heroin smuggled into the prison. In December 2016, a grand jury indicted GEO Group employee Ray Alexander Barr of providing methamphetamine and alcohol to prisoners.