A former guard at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court Thursday to smuggling drugs and cellphones into the prison for bribes, the U.S. attorney's office said.
Corrections Officer Anibal Navarro, 39, admitted to being paid about $45,000 over a two-year period to bring methamphetamine,
The illicit loads would come two to four times a month, from 2014 to 2016.
Navarro was arrested by the
About a month earlier,
A short time later, FBI agents saw her meet with Navarro in Imperial Beach and give him cellphones and $1,000, the complaint stated. He admitted in a recorded conversation the next day that he smuggled the load into the prison.
Inmate Martin Gomez is accused of recruiting Navarro. Gomez coordinated with four others on the outside to get the contraband to the officer, and then five other inmates would distribute the goods inside the prison, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors said the phones were used to plan crimes outside and inside the prison.
Gomez was moved to another prison at some point during the scheme but continued to run it by phone, prosecutors said.
Navarro, who began working at the prison in 2003, remains free on bond.
Davis writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune