News In Brief:
“There were no actual witnesses. There was a detention deputy who had come in as the two individuals [were] coming out of [the] supply room,” said Sergeant Joel Ware. A rape kit from the prisoner was sent to the state crime lab. Following his arrest, Reid posted a $7,500 bond; the prisoner, who was not identified, was removed from her trustee position.
Brazil: Six prisoners were killed by other prisoners during a 15-hour riot at a police lockup in Maranhao on February 7, 2011. The murdered prisoners were all accused of sex crimes involving children; four were decapitated. The rioters demanded a kilo of marijuana from authorities in exchange for releasing hostages and ending the disturbance. News reports did not indicate whether they received the cannabis.
California: On January 28, 2011, former Riverside County probation officer Elizabeth Z. Nolan pleaded guilty to a felony charge of unlawful intercourse with a minor. As part of a plea agreement, 16 other counts – including oral copulation with a minor and rape by force or fear – were dropped. Nolan was accused of having sex with a juvenile offender over several months; at the time, her husband was a Riverside County prosecutor. She was sentenced to 1 year in jail in February 2011.
California: Merced County jail guard Anthony Sodini, 27, employed at the John Latorraca Correctional Facility, was arrested on February 9, 2011 on charges of smuggling contraband into the jail. Sodini allegedly brought tobacco to prisoners at the facility. “It is regrettable when one of our own makes bad life choices and crosses a line that he has sworn to uphold,” said Sheriff Mark Pazin. “But I want the public to know that we will not treat it differently than any other criminal investigation, and he will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
California: On February 14, 2011, Beverly Hills criminal defense attorney Michael H. Inman was sentenced to serve 120 days after pleading no contest to a felony charge of trying to smuggle 14.25 grams of heroin into a Los Angeles jail where he was visiting two incarcerated clients. Inman also received three years’ probation, and was placed on inactive status by the state bar association.
Columbia: In January 2011, guards at a prison in the city of Bucaramanga intercepted a drug-laden pigeon that tried to fly into the facility. “Agents saw the animal attempting to cross the prison wall. When [the pigeon] tried again he discovered that his body was weighed down with 45 grams of marijuana,” said North Santander police chief Jose Mendoza. “Because of this weight he could not reach his objective of entering the prison with the substance.” In 2009, a pigeon carrying a cell phone SIM card was found outside the Cómbita prison in Boyacá, Columbia.
District of Columbia: Ingmar Guandique, convicted of murdering former federal Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy in 2001, received a 60-year prison sentence on February 11, 2011. Levy’s death led to a scandal involving then-U.S. Congressman Gary Conduit, with whom she was having an affair. While Conduit was not named as a suspect in Levy’s death, intense media coverage contributed to Conduit losing his reelection bid in 2002.
The case remained unsolved for over 8 years, but an informant eventually fingered Guandique, a Salvadoran immigrant serving time in federal prison for attacking several other women at the same park where Levy’s body was found. Investigators searched Guandique’s prison cell and found a photo of Levy that he had removed from a magazine. He was indicted several months later.
Florida: On February 4, 2011, Latrishia Mone Laws, a state prison guard employed at the Glades Correctional Institution, was arrested on charges of witness tampering. Laws, 22, is accused of contacting a shooting victim and trying to get him to sign a statement that he had misidentified the person charged in the shooting. The alleged shooter, Charles Coney, who is being held at the Palm Beach County jail, is the father of Laws’ child. Laws said she would pay the victim $500 if he recanted his identification of Coney. Following her arrest, Laws was jailed on $100,000 bond.
Florida: Palm Beach County jail deputy Derrick Daniels, 38, was arrested on February 9, 2011 on charges of aggravated battery, official misconduct, culpable negligence and evidence tampering. Daniels is accused of facilitating a fight between two prisoners in segregation on December 12, 2010 and then covering up the incident. Jail prisoner Lajuane Dunnaway told investigators that Daniels let another prisoner, Taurus Turnquest, into his cell. Turnquest stabbed and slashed Dunnaway; after the fight, Daniels disposed of Dunnaway’s bloody clothing and bedding, gave him bandages instead of notifying the jail’s medical staff, and failed to report the incident. Daniels was later suspended; following his arrest he was held on $96,000 bond.
Florida: Pasco County deputy Brian Call, 35, accused of fraternizing with prisoners building an aviation hangar for the Sheriff’s Office, was arrested on January 25, 2011. He had previously been suspended and is in the process of being fired. Call was supervising prisoners working on the hanger during evening shifts; he allegedly used his cell phone to contact some of the prisoners’ girlfriends, who would meet them at the hanger. He also shared smokeless tobacco with several prisoners. Call was charged with introduction of contraband into a jail facility and unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior. Prisoners were used to build the hanger as a money-saving measure for the county.
Illinois: On January 31, 2011, Macon County jail guard Standefer “Stan” Bouleware, 41, was arrested on charges of official misconduct and solicitation of prostitution. Bouleware, a 20-year jail employee, allegedly paid a former prisoner for sex. The ex-prisoner reportedly turned him in because she didn’t want him to keep contacting her. “He is suspended with pay at this time,” stated Sheriff Thomas Schneider. “We will be going through the proper disciplinary process. After his pre-disciplinary hearing, he will be suspended without pay.” Bouleware was in uniform when he was arrested at the woman’s apartment, where he was hoping to pay to have sex with her again.
Indonesia: Nineteen prisoners escaped from a prison in West Papua province on February 13, 2011 after overpowering guards during prayer time. Three guards suffered non-serious injuries, according to Warden William Kmur. The escapees were serving sentences ranging from 10 months to 12 years.
Maryland: On February 13, 2011, state prisoner Timothy Davis, 37, was killed at the Western Correctional Institution after another prisoner struck him on the head with a TV set. Davis’ death was the second homicide at the maximum-security facility within two weeks; prisoner Blas Ramon Mata Aguilar, 41, was killed on February 2, 2011. Both deaths are under investigation by the Maryland State Police and the Dept. of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
Mexico: The warden at the Santa Martha women’s prison and the director of the facility’s hospital were fired for letting a high-profile prisoner receive a cosmetic medical treatment, according to February 2011 news reports. The prisoner, Avila Beltran, AKA “The Queen of the Pacific,” is pending trial on drug trafficking and conspiracy charges related to the Sinaloa drug cartel. Prison medical staff asked an outside doctor to visit Beltran on January 10 to give her a “vaccination.” However, the shot was actually botox, which is commonly used for cosmetic purposes to treat wrinkles. Prosecutors are investigating prison staff for “illegal performance of public duties” for allowing Beltran to receive the botox treatment.
Missouri: On February 13, 2011, Pemiscot County prisoner Lavonda Brown died after jumping from a transport van while she was being taken to Poplar Bluff for a court hearing. She had been put in hand and ankle restraints. “It is believed during the transport, Brown was able to remove her hands and feet from the restraints while talking to the deputies who were transporting her,” stated Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder. Brown then opened the van’s side doors and jumped from the moving vehicle, resulting in fatal injuries. Her death was ruled a suicide.
Montana: Former Montana State Prison guard Shannon Davis was sentenced on January 25, 2011 to 13 months in prison after pleading no contest to a charge of felony transfer of an illegal article to a prisoner. Davis, accused of smuggling a cell phone into the facility where she worked in September 2008, was also fined $1,500. The contraband phone was for prisoner Michael Murphy; according to Warden Mike Mahoney, Davis admitted to having a nonsexual romantic relationship with Murphy. Prison officials found that four other female prison employees also had relationships with Murphy. [See: PLN, Nov. 2010, p.21].
Washington: Former Benton County jail guard Gregory Andre Brown, 38, entered an Alford plea to a charge of official misconduct for having sex with a female prisoner, and was sentenced to one year in jail (suspended) on February 16, 2011. The incident occurred when the prisoner was cleaning a restroom in January 2009 as part of a work crew, while Brown was supervising the crew. The prisoner did not report the sexual encounter but mentioned it in a letter sent from jail once she was back in custody after another arrest. The letter was returned because it could not be delivered, whereupon it was read by jail staff.