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Bribery

Prison guard pleads guilty to bribery at private detention facility in Conroe

According to an article from the Associated Press, a guard at GEO Group operated Joe Corley Detention Facility in Conroe, Texas pleaded guilty to bribery of a federal employee. 28-year-old Jacoby Derrell Randall admitted to smuggling food, marijuana, and electronics, all banned items to detainees at the facility.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Randall sneaked food into the facility for $100 each occurrence, and later an MP3 player for $200.

Private prisons in Texas have been known for bribery scandals in the past: In January 2017, two former private prison guards pleaded guilty to charges of bribery from their time working at the Willacy County Regional Detention Facility. In 2015, the former warden of the privately operated East Hidalgo Detention Center was arrested in a complex bribery scandal.

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Former Texas private prison warden arrested in bribery scandal

The former warden of the privately operated East Hidalgo Detention Center, Elberto E. Bravo, was arrested last Friday in a complex bribery scandal. According to local reports, Bravo participated in a scheme to bribe former Hidalgo County Justice of the Peace Melo Ochoa to lower the bond for a Mexican drug trafficker, Luis Martinez-Gallegos . 

Private prison operator LCS Corrections removed Bravo from his post as warden in February 2012 amid a federal investigation, but it is unclear if it is related to this case. 

The complex case began when Martinez-Gallegos was stopped by Hidalgo County law enforcement officers and arrested for possession of 89 kilograms of cocaine in his vehicle. 

According to Breitbart Texas, "Bravo, another woman, and a local attorney worked to get Martinez’s bond lowered so that federal authorities could deport him before the case went federal, the criminal complaint shows."

Ochoa took the cash and decreased the bond from $2.5 million to $50,000. Martinez-Gallegos was subsequently released and deported. What did former private prison warden Bravo have to gain from deporting a drug trafficker? That remains a mystery.

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