Skip navigation

News in Brief

Alabama: A guard with the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) was indicted on April 27, 2023, on charges he sexually abused two prisoners at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Aliceville, according to a report by the Birmingham News. Robert D. Smith allegedly had sexual intercourse with prisoners “T.M.” and “R.R.L.” in 2018 and 2019. Federal prisoners cannot consent to sex with BOP staff, and any sexual contact between them is illegal. If convicted, Smith faces up to 15 years in prison and three years of supervised release on each charge, plus a fine up to $250,000. One of the newest federal prisons, FCI-Aliceville holds up to 1,508 low-security female prisoners.

Alaska: A guard with the state Department of Corrections (DOC) was arrested on April 27, 2023, on suspicion of smuggling drugs into Spring Creek Correctional Center, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Steven Manuel, 44, of Seward, faces charges of promoting contraband in the first degree and misconduct involving a controlled substance in the third and fourth degrees. Video footage confirmed what prison officials had suspected: Manuel delivered something he had been fidgeting with in his pocket to prisoner Aric Tolen, 37. When another guard searched Tolen’s cell, he found 48.7 grams of methamphetamine and 87 Suboxone strips. During an interview with prison staff, Tolen admitted that he offered to “smooth out” issues Manuel was having with other prisoners if the guard smuggled him drugs. Manuel denied that when interviewed by a state trooper. His current employment status with DOC is unclear and his attorney, James Christie, declined to comment. 

Arkansas: A BOP guard at FCI-Medium in Forrest City was arrested on May 8, 2023, and charged with the off-duty rape of an underage victim, Cross County Sheriff David West told WREG in Memphis. Christopher Alsup, 35, was scheduled for a bond hearing the next day and taken to the Cross County jail. West said investigators with a search warrant removed evidence from Alsup’s home but would not elaborate on what they found. The investigation is ongoing.

Arizona: On June 2, 2023, a former detainee at Maricopa County’s Lower Buckeye Jail was sentenced to 33 years in prison for killing a guard, the Arizona Republic reported. The October 2019 death of Gene Lee, 64, was the first-ever of an on-duty guard at a county jail. The day before the fatal attack, a judge had dismissed a complaint against Lee filed by his assailant, Daniel Davitt, then 60. [See: PLN, July 2020, p.62.] Davitt, who had been held two years at the jail on suspicion of molesting two young girls, was attempting to lodge another grievance about Lee when a second guard showed Lee what Davitt had written, igniting an argument. It turned deadly when Davitt swept the guard’s legs from under him and drove him head-first to the floor.

Australia: A randy former Queensland Corrective Services guard at Arthur Gorrie Correctional Center admitted telling a prisoner over the phone that she was “thinking about your big c*ck,” the Daily Mail reported. Nicole Lisa Georgiou, 44, was initially targeted in an investigation into smuggled drugs when her house was raided on July 4, 2022, and 195 strips of Suboxone were seized, along with her phone. The phone provided evidence of an intimate relationship with a prisoner in Woodford Correctional Center. Further investigation revealed Georgiou had visited the lockup 20 times, and two visits in June 2022 constituted “sexualised offending”: The couple embraced tightly, the prisoner squeezing Georgiou’s left buttock. A review of prison phone recordings then found explicit conversations between the two. The former guard also transferred money to the prisoner using her full name. Georgiou appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on May 15, 2023, charged with misconduct in public office and aggravated supply of drugs within a correctional facility. She pleaded guilty to lesser charges, accepting a $1,000 fine from Magistrate Michael Quinn, who noted she had no prior conviction recorded.

California: On April 27, 2023, an aspiring rap musician serving time for a weapons conviction with the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) was fatally stabbed, the New York Post reported. Jaime Brugada Valdez, 22, who performed as MoneySign Suede, was five months into a 32-month sentence for two counts of being a felon in possession of a gun. The fatal stabbing occurred at CDCR’s Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, 87 miles south of San Jose, which houses over 4,000 minimum- and medium-security prisoners. After missing a 10 p.m. headcount, Valdez was found lying on a shower floor with stab wounds to the neck. Medical staff unsuccessfully attempted to save his life. His attorney, Nicholas Rosenberg, reported the motive is unknown adding, “Suede was a very popular guy, very mild-mannered. Everybody loved him.” Known for hits Whole Time and Too Late, the rapper had signed with Atlantic Records in 2021. 

California: As one prisoner was choking another at California State Prison in Sacramento on May 1, 2023, he was fatally shot by a guard, according to US News. Mario Rushing, 46, was serving a life sentence without possibility of parole when he began choking a fellow prisoner. He ignored verbal orders to cease, and guards deployed chemical agents and other less-than-lethal measures. But Rushing persisted. When the other prisoner lost consciousness and went limp, a guard fired his Mini-14 semi-automatic rifle, striking Rushing. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died an hour later. The prisoner he attacked was treated at the prison and survived. The unnamed guard was on administrative leave pending an investigation. No other injuries were reported. CDCR said an “inmate-manufactured weapon was recovered at the scene.”

Canada: On May 17, 2023, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) announced that a prison guard’s remains were discovered in a car hauled from Lake Ontario – 40 years after he went missing. CBC then reported that David Manuel Hannah, an indigenous Canadian then 36, was last seen on January 4, 1983. At the time he was employed as a guard at Millhaven Maximum Security Penitentiary. Police divers found his Oldsmobile Delta 88 while searching for another submerged vehicle in January 2023. The vehicle was brought to the surface four months later. A 2011 Whig Standard article reported that police unsuccessfully offered $50,000 for information on the “very cold case.” Hannah never accessed any of his bank accounts after disappearing, and investigators suspect he was a homicide victim. After the accidental discovery of his car, the investigation continues, and OPP urged anyone with information to contact them.

Florida: On May 17, 2023, a privately contracted guard at an Osceola County juvenile detention center was arraigned on charges she had sex with an underage detainee, according to WESH in Orlando. Rachelle Edwards, 33, allegedly carried on a “full-blown relationship” with the 17-year-old for two weeks earlier in 2023 at Kissimmee Youth Academy (KYA). A state Department of Juvenile Justice lockup providing mental health services and substance abuse treatment for juveniles, it is operated by a private contractor, Youth Opportunity Investments, LLC. Edwards was a security guard who primarily worked nights. Two weeks after the victim arrived at KYA, he reportedly received a letter from Edwards asking how old he was. The two began corresponding regularly, and Edwards moved the teenager into a cell without cameras. County Sheriff Marcos Lopez said “that’s where all the sexual misconduct, to our knowledge at this point, took place.” After the victim’s parents requested an investigation, Edwards made a full confession. She faces four counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and two counts of lewd and lascivious touching of a minor.

Florida: After his arrest on an outstanding Alabama warrant on May 17, 2023, a detainee on his way to Florida’s Escambia County Jail (ECJ) in Pensacola was found hiding drugs in his waistband and charged with contraband smuggling, according to online news site NorthEscambia. Caleb Eli Turk, 31, of Flomaton, Alabama, was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and attempting to introduce it into ECJ. Turk was previously convicted of possessing a controlled substance in Escambia County, Alabama. He was out on parole when he was arrested again in February 2022 for possession with an intent to distribute 19 grams of meth. He was released on bond after that arrest but failed to appear in court to face the charges, leading to issue of the warrant on which he was picked up in Florida. After he was in custody, he was “fidgeting on the left side of his body during transport,” Florida police noticed. Upon arrival at the Pensacola lockup, jail staff found 21.4 ounces of meth in a baggie hidden in his waistband. Turk is currently in ECJ on a $15,000 bond. District Attorney Steve Billy in Escambia County, Alabama, said he was moving to have Turk’s bond and probation in that state revoked. 

Georgia: A state DOC guard was arrested on May 6, 2023, for allegedly attempting to smuggle meth and tobacco into Lee State Prison, according to WALB in Albany. After stepping out for a break, Tamere Bell refused to put her bag through an X-ray machine when she re-entered. Prison officials then searched it and reportedly found six bundles of methamphetamine and tobacco. A search of her automobile turned up more bundles of tobacco. Bell was charged with crossing the guard line with items prohibited, trafficking methamphetamines and violation of oath.

Guam: The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on May 1, 2023, that a prisoner in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) was sentenced to 27 additional months for assaulting one of several guards attempting to confiscate a drug-smoking pipe from him. When he was found smoking meth in his cell in February 2022, Derik Jonathan Camacho Reyes, 41, tried to flush the pipe and meth down the toilet. In the ensuing altercation with guards, one struck his head on the corner of the cell doorway and sustained minor injuries. The U.S. Marshals Service contracts to house federal prisoners at the jail, and CNMI guards are considered federal employees when they supervise federal prisoners, so DOJ handled the investigation and legal case. The Court sentenced Reyes to three years of supervised release, 100 hours of community service, and a mandatory $200 special assessment fee. The sentence will run consecutive to his current sentence for possession of drugs found inside a GoPro case in the back seat of his car when he was pulled over for driving without headlights in July 2019. Reyes refused to consent to that search, but he was convicted after losing a motion to suppress the evidence then found. See: Commonwealth v. Reyes, CNMI Super., Case No. 19-0048-CR.

Illinois: A guard with the state DOC was charged with attempting to smuggle drugs hidden in a Cheetos bag to a prisoner at Westville Correctional Facility on April 30, 2023, Northwest Indiana Times reported. Adeja Cunningham, 24, of Calumet City, is charged with Level 5 felony trafficking with a prisoner. Prison officials reportedly found Cunningham and the prisoner chatting on Instagram, where they “talked about picking up something and that it would be in the chips.” On the day of her arrest, prison staff found Cunningham smuggling three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana in the snack bag. She did not offer an explanation and bonded out of the La Porte County Jail for $1,500. The former guard could serve up to six years in prison if convicted.

Illinois: A former guard at DuPage County Jail was arrested on May 15, 2023, on charges he twice had sex with a jail detainee, according to WGN in Chicago. Ricardo Hardy, 52, allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse and other sex acts in the detainee’s cell and the jail shower area between March 13 and April 26, 2023. Hardy also put $300 in the detainee’s commissary account. The DuPage County State Attorney’s office began an investigation that led to the charges: five counts of custodial sexual misconduct and five counts of official misconduct. On May 16, 2023, a day after Hardy’s arrest, a judge set his bond at $300,000. The former guard’s next court appearance was scheduled for June 12, 2023.

Indiana: A state prisoner’s girlfriend was arrested on May 16, 2023, on charges of mailing drugs for him to New Castle Correctional Facility (NCCF). According to the Muncie Star Press, the charges were handed down in June 2022 to Denay Tuggle, now 39, and her boyfriend, NCCF prisoner Charles Miller, as well as a fellow prisoner to whom the contraband was mailed, 27-year-old Thomas R. Leachman III. Investigators say Tuggle used fake legal mail to send papers soaked in cannabinoids, which Miller then cut into strips for individual use. He was transferred to Miami Correctional Facility to continue serving a 45-year term for a 2009 murder conviction. Leachman has since completed a four-year sentence from a 2017 drug conviction. Tuggle was being held on an $8,250 bond, with $750 due in cash. In addition to driving after a lifetime suspension, she has convictions for robbery, escape, resisting law enforcement, providing false information and leaving the scene of an accident.

Iowa: On April 28, 2023, the last two of four people convicted in a pair of drug-smuggling cases at the Polk County Jail were sentenced in federal court for the Southern District of Iowa. Detainee Randall Joseph Verbeski, 61, got a 30-month term followed by three years of supervised release for receiving opioids disguised as legal mail sent by Fawn Ann Colyn, 57. She had already gotten a 30-month sentence, three years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment on April 11, 2023. See: United States v. Verbeski, USDC (S.D. Iowa), Case No. 4:22-cr-00092. In the other case, Ashley Michelle Evans, 35, got a 30-month sentence for sending cannabinoids again disguised as legal mail to detainee Michael Joseph Wilson, also 35. He had earlier received a 12-month term and three years of supervised release plus a $100 assessment when he was sentenced on June 19, 2022. See: United States v. Wilson, USDC (S.D. Iowa), Case No. 4:22-cr-00139.

Mexico: A huge fire inside an immigration detention facility in Ciudad Juarez, just across the Mexican border from El Paso, killed 38 men on March 28, 2023. Another 28 were left with injuries, Mexico’s National Immigration Institute told AP News. While smoke filled the building and voices cried for help, surveillance video captured guards running away, making no effort to unlock doors and free those trapped in the flames.  The office of Mexican Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero said the victims were migrants from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador.

Mississippi: A former case manager with the state DOC pleaded guilty on April 27, 2023, to kicking a compliant prisoner in the head at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF), the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported. Sentencing for Nicole Moore, 43, is set for July 25, 2023, in federal court for the Southern District of Mississippi. A co-worker, former CMCF guard Jessica Hill, 34, is still awaiting trial for her alleged role in the July 2019 assault on the prisoner, identified as “L.C.” Hill allegedly punched and hit her with a pepper-spray cannister. Though she wasn’t fighting back, Moore admitted then kicking her. [See: PLN, Feb. 2023, p.63.] Both women resigned from DOC. Each faces up to a decade in prison for deprivation of rights under color of law. See: United States v. Hill, USDC (S.D. Miss.), Case No. 3:22-cr-00123.

Missouri: A former guard at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre pleaded guilty on May 23, 2022, to separate charges of assaulting a prisoner and possessing child pornography, according to KTVI in St. Louis. Carl Hart, 37, admitted following a prisoner into the shower after an argument and striking him, handcuffing him and then hitting him again as he lay restrained on the floor. The victim in the October 2021 assault suffered cuts on his head and facial swelling, as well as a black eye and persistent rib pain. [See: PLN, Feb. 2023, p.63.] Besides knocking prisoners around the lockup, Hart also collected child pornography. After an April 2022 tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, state Highway Patrol troopers found some 700 kiddie porn images in Hart’s Dropbox account and on his phone, a collection he had been curating since 2018. He pleaded guilty to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law and two counts of possession of child pornography. He faces up to 30 years in prison and $500,000 in fines when he is sentenced on August 24, 2023.

Nebraska: KOLN in Lincoln reported that a DUI detainee is facing additional charges for allegedly taking a drunken bite out of the face of an unnamed guard at the Lancaster County Jail on April 29, 2023. When Lincoln Police Department (LPD) officers found a vehicle stopped in traffic with its hazards flashing, they tried to help. But the car sped away, almost hitting one cop as it fled the scene. When finally pulled over, Fiona Walker, 22, seemed under the influence but refused to leave her vehicle or take a breath test. Taken to jail, she refused to leave the police cruiser and had to be extracted. That’s when she allegedly bit one cop so hard that it left a mark on his face. Walker was cited for DUI with a prior conviction, refusal of a chemical test, willful reckless driving, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.

New Hampshire: On May 2, 2023, a former guard at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections turned himself in to face charges he assaulted a prisoner, NBC News reported. On January 31, 2023, Todd Gordon, 51, allegedly assaulted the unnamed prisoner during preparation for transport from the jail to the New Hampshire State Prison. The state DOC asked Manchester police to investigate, leading to charges for Gordon on two counts of second-degree assault, one count of witness tampering and one count of criminal threatening. He was released on personal recognizance to await arraignment.

New Jersey: In a decision reached on May 9, 2023, a state appeals court upheld the 2020 firing of a DOC guard who responded to the May 2020 murder of George Floyd by posting a pro-lynching meme on his Facebook page. Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis cops touched off a summer of protests nationwide against police brutality. A month after the killing, Pearson posted an image of a Black man hanging from a gallows, adding: “We need to bring this back.” DOC fired him, and the state Civil Service Commission (CSC) upheld the termination. Pearson appealed, but a state court agreed with CSC that his conduct was egregious and firing was needed to maintain public confidence in law enforcement. See: In the Matter of Wayne Pearson, N.J. Super. (App. Div.), Case No. A-0494-21.

New Jersey: May 19, 2023, WKXW in Trenton reported that two Essex County Jail detainees were charged with assaulting a guard two days earlier – the third guard assault at the lockup in three weeks. Shakur Richardson, 25, and Denarious Hemphill, 18, are charged with aggravated assault for the attack on an unnamed guard carrying food trays. Richardson allegedly punched and kicked him, and Hemphill allegedly stabbed him in the face. Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 382 Pres. David Matos said his union member “was very close to losing his eye as well as his life.” Earlier in May two prisoners broke a guard’s nose; details on the third alleged assault have not been made public. In the unit where Richardson and Hemphill carried out their attack, Matos reported there was just one guard for every 64 prisoners, frequently requiring them to work 16-hour shifts.

New Mexico: A guard supervisor accused in a new lawsuit of beating and mocking a Black prisoner at Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility (NNMCF) was also caught on video hitting another restrained prisoner in the head in September 2022, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. Lt. Christian Trujillo, chief of the NNMCF Corrections Emergency Response Team, was charged in January 2023 with misdemeanor aggravated battery for allegedly beating Jonathan Silva while he was restrained by three other guards: Justice Yates, Jose Baca and Danny Pelayo. Trujillo and Pelayo are both defendants in a suit filed in federal court for the District of New Mexico by NNMCF prisoner Carl Berry, who said that Pelayo sexually assaulted him in April 2021 and Trujillo called him a “PREA pussy” for promising to make a report under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). The guards then threw him on the floor, Berry said, and Trujillo taunted him by saying: “Let me guess – you can’t breathe?” At the time, former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was on trial for the May 2020 murder of George Floyd, who was also Black, and whose last words included, “I can’t breathe.” See: Berry v. Trujillo, USDC (D.N.M.), Case No. 2:23-cv-00312.

New York: The Rockland/Westchester Journal News reported that a former Green Haven Correctional Facility guard pleaded guilty on May 1, 2023, to punching and tackling an unnamed prisoner without provocation and then lying in his incident report that the prisoner had thrown the first punch. The assault occurred on May 28, 2020. Taj Everly, 32, then resigned in June 2021 after five years on the job. He was arrested in October 2022. His supervisor, Sgt. Rosita Rossy, was accused of conspiring in the cover-up in a superseding indictment in December 2022. Everly faces up to 10 years in prison when sentenced on July 27, 2023.

New York: Back-to-back brawls at Coxsackie Correctional Facility on April 23, 2022, left seven prisoners injured, including one slashed in the face with a makeshift knife fashioned from a sharpened chicken bone, the Hudson Valley Times Union reported. Guards blamed the fights on gang rivalries inside the lockup. The first began with two prisoners exchanging punches in the prison yard. The violence quickly escalated as four other prisoners joined in. Guards ordered them to stop, but the first two kept slugging until pepper-sprayed. The two groups continued to attack each other, leaving one prisoner lacerated by a sharpened chicken bone. All prisoners involved face disciplinary charges, and three were put in solitary confinement. Guard union officials blamed the HALT (Humane Alternative to Long-Term Solitary Confinement) Act of 2021, which limits solitary confinement in state prisons to 15 days, 48 hours for prisoners under 21, over 55, pregnant, postpartum or disabled. State Correctional Officer and Police Benevolent Association spokesman James Miller called the 15-day solitary limit a slap on the wrist for the three who began the fight in the yard, warning that violence would continue.

North Carolina: WNCN in Goldsboro reported that a former federal prison guard in North Carolina got a 12-month sentence on May 17, 2023, after pleading guilty to smuggling cigarettes in exchange for $10,000 in bribes. Kamel Smallwood, 28,was one of four former employees of private prison giant GEO Group charged at the prison it operates for BOP, Rivers Correctional Institution, in a five-count indictment on March 2, 2022. Smallwood pleaded guilty in July 2022 to accepting a bribe as a public official and aiding and abetting a smuggling scheme with prisoner Francois Toure and fellow guard Twonisha Sykes. Sykes received a one-day sentence and three years of supervised release after she turned witness against Smallwood, testifying that the guard smuggled cigarettes plastic-wrapped to her body at least four times into the lockup.

Ohio: Three assaults on staff were reported in May 2023 at Ohio’s Indian River Juvenile Correctional Facility, the Columbus Dispatch reported. Art teacher Matthew Benko was left with a broken nose after youth detainees jumped him on May 12, 2023. They also attacked a guard and broke her nose, too. A second guard who was assaulted did not require medical treatment. At Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center, another incident with guards on May 7, 2023, left 15-year-old Demarion Allen possibly paralyzed from the waist down. State Department of Youth Services spokesman Ryan Heimberger said assaults had decreased since guards were outfitted with pepper-spray and body cameras after disturbances in October 2022.

Ohio: A Hamilton County Jail guard pleaded guilty on May 23, 2023, to taking a nude image of a developmentally disabled man at a gym and posting it to Facebook, according to WXIX in Cincinnati. Michael Crawford, 31, of Hamilton, was off-duty from the jail when he took the photos of the man getting dressed in a Planet Fitness gym on September 2, 2022. Charges were then filed on November 17 and an arrest warrant issued on November 22, 2023. County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey said that Crawford was placed on unpaid leave. He faced a year in prison but got three years of probation when sentenced on June 28, 2023. He must also register as a sex offender.

Pennsylvania: A member of the Montgomery County Board of Prison Inspectors – who served 32 years of a life sentence for a murder committed as a juvenile before a Supreme Court ruling led to his 2018 parole – was arrested with his wife on April 26, 2023, for allegedly stealing more than $94,000 in COVID-19 relief money, according to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Vernon Steed, 55, was taken to Berks County Prison on charges of theft, receiving stolen property, identify theft and forgery. He allegedly named his dead sister-in-law as his landlord in fraudulent rent-relief applications submitted to Your Way Home oversight agency. Steed was also accused of stealing personal information from people he had helped in various prison ministries and outreach programs to submit fraudulent claims and forged documents to apply for additional rental assistance or bring rental payments up to date. Steed resigned from the prison board effective April 21, 2023, three days before the charges were filed. His wife and alleged co-conspirator is free on a $50,000 unsecured bond. State DOC officials also filed a detainer against the paroled prisoner to send him back to prison while awaiting trial on his new charges.

Pennsylvania: According to a DOJ press release on April 28, 2023, a federal prisoner had 51 months added to his 234-month sentence after he was convicted of assaulting a fellow prisoner at BOP’s U.S. Penitentiary in Canaan. After Louis Borrero, 39, slashed the other prisoner’s face with a razor blade on July 16, 2021, the wound requires nine stitches to close. At the time Borrero was serving a sentence for drug trafficking, robbery and firearms violations.

Tennessee: WTFW in Nashville reported that a Maury County Jail guard was found guilty on April 27, 2023, of falsely reporting sexual advances from a detainee with whom he pursued a sexual relationship of his own will. James Justice, a/k/a James Stewart Thomas, 32, had been indicted in May of 2022 for “falsifying records relating to non-consensual sexual contact with a female inmate in his custody.” [See: PLN, July 15, 2022, p.63.] Justice claimed in his fabricated report that two of his jail supervisors told him not to write about the prisoner’s alleged sexual overtures. He also neglected to admit that he had a sexual relationship with the prisoner after she left the Maury County Jail. When sentenced for obstruction of justice on September 18, 2023, Justice faces up to 20 years in prison.

Texas: A former guard at East Hidalgo Detention Center pleaded guilty on April 28, 2023, to taking bribes to smuggle cellphones to detainees. According to a DOJ press release, Jose Martin Espinoza Jr., 35, was caught on May 17, 2022, when fellow guards at the lockup looked under his cap and found a phone taped inside. [See also: PLN, Sep. 2022, p.63.] The contraband was headed to Sixto Gonzalez, Jr., 26, who was being held at the GEO Group-owned prison for U.S. Marshals on charges he kidnapped an unnamed 19-year-old to Mexico and attempted to extort a ransom from his family. Gozalez pleaded guilty to those charges on May 15, 2023. The same day, an accomplice, Abel Angel Solis, 24, pleaded guilty to paying Espinoza $500 each to smuggle an unspecified number of cellphones into the lockup. Solis and Espinoza face up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

United Kingdom: A British prisoner serving a life sentence – for murdering the father of her three children during a drunken post-pub argument – is petitioning the country’s prison system to allow conjugal visits, the New York Post reported. Abigail White, 24, whose extensive plastic surgery helped her achieve fame on the Onlyfans adult website as “Fake Barbie,” is serving a life sentence for fatally stabbing Bradley Lewis with a kitchen knife after he tried to break off their relationship on March 25, 2022. Conjugal visitation is rare in the UK, and only three states – California, Washington and New York – currently permit it.

Washington: The Wenatchee World reported that bail was set at $2 million each on May 2, 2023, for a pair of detainees accused of trying to kill a guard at Chelan County Jail. Benito Eduardo Licea, 24, and Javier “Puppet” Valdez, 28, allegedly planned to kill guard Jesus Olivera after he wrote up Licea on April 27, 2023, for an infraction that would send the detainee to solitary confinement. Four days later, surveillance footage showed Licea and Valdez stabbed Olivera multiple times, leaving him with lacerations on his head. His bottom lip was also split, and he had a puncture wound on his right wrist. Investigators recovered two improvised shanks, each with a screw sticking out of it, from Licea’s sock and the toilet in Valdez’s cell. Each is charged with attempted aggravated first-degree murder, prison riot and weapons possession by a prisoner. Both were being held at the jail on murder charges from 2022.

Wisconsin: A Milwaukee County Jail guard was fired and arrested on May 29, 2023, on suspicion of sexually assaulting a detainee at the lockup, Fox News reported. Devon Winbush, 39, started by giving the woman his phone to FaceTime her partner. Later he deposited money in her jail account, sending her multiple texts using the jail’s texting service over a 10-day period.Surveillance video showed Winbush went to the detainee’s cell as many as 30 times during a shift. He eventually groped the woman and exposed himself to her. He is charged with attempted assault, a Class 3 Felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $50,000 in fines. Since he was hired in July 2022, he was still on probationary employment, so the office of county Sheriff Denita R. Ball fired him after just an internal inquiry.