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California Guard Gets Prison in Child Molester Attacks

by W. Wisely

Jose Ramon Garcia, 42, was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for soliciting Pelican Bay prisoners to assault alleged child molesters. The former prison guard's April sentencing in Del Norte County Superior Court came amid widening state and federal investigations into civil rights violations at one of the state's most violent prisons.

According to an article in the Sacramento Bee , Garcia said, "Cuff me up," as Judge Alan Thieler ordered him taken into custody. Garcia was sent to San Quentin for a 90 day diagnostic study before he will be shipped to another prison to serve out his sentence.

William Stanton Boyd, 36, a prisoner at Pelican Bay, was slated to testify for the prosecution against Garcia. However, on March 9, 1998, Duke Bolter, 44, and Jimmy Gaston, 27, stabbed Boyd to death during yard recall. Outside agencies are investigating Boyd's death and there is speculation he was killed to prevent him from testifying in the Garcia trial.

"Prisoners [at Pelican Bay prison] are still at risk of harm from staff misconduct. And the fact that the FBI is looking into this shows that the department's own investigative abilities are not yet what they should be," said Prison Law Office attorney Steven Fama in an interview with Bee staff writer Andy Furillo. "These events indicate that the Department does not yet have control over Pelican Bay," Fama said.

Two other Pelican Bay guards implicated in the child molester assault investigation that led to Garcia's conviction were placed on administrative leave by prison officials. Garcia was found guilty January 28, 1998, of participating in an assault on one alleged child molester, conspiring to set up other assaults, and twice furnishing alcohol to prisoners in return for other such assaults.

Special Services Unit investigators from the Department's Sacramento headquarters have zeroed in on Pelican Bay Sergeant Edward M. Powers and guard Roy Alvarado according to the article. They were placed on administrative leave March 11, 1998. During the Garcia investigation, witnesses admitted that Powers ordered Alvarado to search the prison's central files for suspected child molesters and turn over any information to Garcia. Garcia then leaked the information to certain prisoners who committed the assaults. Alvarado allegedly said, "Attaboy," to one of the prisoners who stabbed Boyd to death.

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