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“Master Jo,” Florida Prison Employee, Arrested for Trafficking in Contraband and Soliciting a Hit from Undercover Detective

By Jo Ellen Nott

On April 11, 2022, an academic instructor at a south Florida lockup managed for the state Department of Corrections by private prison contractor GEO Group, Inc., was arrested for allegedly smuggling contraband to prisoners as well as soliciting the murder of his girlfriend’s estranged husband.

Jose Alcazar, 49, a Mexican national known as “Master Jo” around the Clewiston Tae Kwon Do studio he ran on the side, first came under scrutiny after prisoners at South Bay Correctional Facility told a Miami-Dade investigator that Alcazar trafficked in contraband every weekend. Posing as the nephew of a prisoner, a Miami-Dade undercover detective then met with Alcazar in March 2022.

Audio recordings of that meeting captured Alcazar bragging about helping the undercover detective’s prisoner “uncle.” The detective then gave Alcazar $1,200 and three SIM cards to be smuggled into the prison for use in contraband cellphones.

The pair also discussed Alcazar’s pregnant girlfriend and her husband, a wealthy Clewiston business owner whom she was divorcing. Alcazar was unhappy with the husband’s plan to have the woman tested to see who the father was, as well as the lack of child support payments he was making for their other children and generally meddling in Alcazar’s relationship with the woman.

Over the ensuing weeks, the undercover detective and Alcazar communicated many times through texts and phone calls. Alcazar sought to buy a small revolver from the man and agreed to sell him cocaine. On April 11, 2022, they met at a Denny’s restaurant in Hialeah, where video captured the cocaine transaction and an offer by Alcazar to have the undercover detective’s prisoner “uncle” moved to another prison for $10,000.

As they walked to Alcazar’s automobile the discussion turned to his girlfriend’s husband. The detective asked Alcazar if he wanted the man killed or “taught a lesson.” Alcazar responded that he wanted him “to go,” adding that the murder would not look too suspicious because the man “has a lot of enemies.”

Police arrested Alcazar shortly thereafter, seizing two pistols, one with six live rounds, the other with one. They also recovered $1,900 in cash the undercover detective had just given him in payment for the cocaine and the smuggling agreement.

Alcazar is being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on charges including first-degree solicitation of murder, introduction of a firearm or explosive device into prison, introduction of a communications device into prison, cocaine possession with a firearm, armed possession of marijuana with intent to sell, compensation for unlawful acts, and criminal solicitation.

GEO Group, the Miami-based firm that is the country’s largest private prison operator, had no comment except to say that Alcazar is currently “not part of the security staff.” 

Sources:  Law and Crime, Miami Herald, WTVJ

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