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GEO Guard Charged with Smuggling Marijuana into Val Verde County Jail

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The Del Rio News ("Jailer Arrested" March 25) reports that a 20 year-old GEO Group guard at the Val Verde Correctional Center has been charged distributing marijuana within the prison. According to the article:

Jose Alberto Ybarra, 20, 102 Gilchrist Lane, was arrested Friday and charged with the offense of prohibited substances and items in adult or juvenile correctional or detention facility or on property of Texas Department of Criminal Justice or Texas Youth Commission, said Val Verde County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Larry Pope, who heads the VVSO’s criminal investigations division.
Pope said Val Verde County Sheriff A. D’Wayne Jernigan Friday asked him to meet with John Campbell, warden of The GEO Group’s Val Verde Correctional Facility, about Ybarra. “The warden suspected a jailer of bringing (marijuana) into the jail,” Pope said. “We set up a surveillance and when the suspect jailer arrived at work Friday, he was stopped and escorted into a conference room.”
Pope said Ybarra was found to be carrying 1.1 ounces of marijuana concealed in the rolled-up cuff of his left shirtsleeve. Pope said Ybarra was also carrying four $50 bills. “He later admitted that this is what he was being paid to deliver the marijuana,” Pope said.

While 1 ounce of Marijuana smuggled into a correctional facility doesn't seem particularly egregious, this incident is reminiscent of a more serious incident where another 20 year-old guard was charged with federal civil rights violations for repeatedly striking a prisoner in the face. It is also part of a long and growing list of problems at Val Verde, a reputation that earned it the "worst jail in Texas" award from the Texas Jail Project back in October 2007.

Selected previous Texas Prison Bid'ness coverage of the Val Verde Correctional Center:


It doesn't matter where you work, there is always going to be officers that give in to offender demand.  these officers are weak minded and afraid to say no.  you are trained for something like this.  when an offender asks for special favors the only thing a gaurd can do is report it to your supervisor.  if you fail in this than you will get caught sooner or later.  if you think the offender will stay quiet you are sadly mistaken.  it brings that offender prestige to bring down a gaurd.  i personally seen it with odoc, tdcj, geo and county jails.  its very simple.......don't be labled a duck, cause when you fail, you make us all look bad.