Home El Paso Press Releases 2009 Federal Prison Sentences Handed Down to Former Reeves County Detention Center Employees

Federal Prison Sentences Handed Down to Former Reeves County Detention Center Employees

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 03, 2009
  • Western District of Texas (210) 384-7100

John E. Murphy, Acting United States Attorney, announced that in Midland today, Jacob C. Guzman of Pecos, Texas, a former corrections officer at the Reeves County Detention Center (RCDC), was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for accepting bribes, attempted destruction of evidence and attempted smuggling of contraband to federal prisoners.

On June 2, 2009, a federal jury found that on two occasions in 2008, Tennessee relatives of a Reeves County Detention Center inmate wire transferred a total of $600 to Guzman in Pecos, in exchange for Guzman’s agreement to smuggle cell phones, tobacco, and mp3 players into the facility, where they were illicitly disseminated to inmates. Federal rules prohibited all of those items inside the facility.

In addition to Guzman, United States District Judge Robert A. Junell sentenced two other former RCDC corrections officers today. Pecos resident Jerri Ornelas was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for providing tobacco to inmates in exchange for $450. Silvia Chairez, of Pecos, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for accepting over $4,300 in bribes in exchange for smuggling cell phones and other contraband to inmates at that facility.

Yesterday, Judge Junell sentenced former RCDC Life Skills Instructor Velma Jean Payan, of Pecos, to 24 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for smuggling marijuana and tobacco to inmates in exchange for $2,000.

On July 31, 2009, Judge Junell sentenced former RCDC case manager Moises B. Martinez, Jr., to 30 months in federal prison followed by three years supervised release for smuggling tobacco and other contraband to prisoners.

These cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice—Office of Inspector General and security officials with the Reeves County Detention Center. Assistant United States Attorneys John S. Klassen and Sandy Stewart prosecuted these cases on behalf of the Government.

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