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2 Inmates Who Went on Food Strike Moved

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

At least two of the inmates who went on a food strike at the Ventura County jail last week have been separated from inmates participating in the boycott, a jail spokesman said Saturday.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cole McDaniel said that Max Majeno, who was quoted in news accounts, was moved from his cell Friday evening.

Eddie Speer, who had been in the same cellblock as Majeno, was moved at the same time to a different section, McDaniel said.

Speer and Majeno were among the 100 or so inmates who began a strike against jail meals on Thursday. The inmates said they had found maggots, ants and worms in their food and would boycott meals until the fare improved. They said they were eating candy bars and potato chips they had stashed away.

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Speer said about eight inmates continued to refuse to eat jail food on Saturday. The other strikers resumed eating meals Friday morning, Speer said.

Those who continued the boycott were separated, Speer said. In addition, he said that he was now being let out of his cell to go to common areas of the jail for only two hours a day, instead of the eight hours a day he was let out before the food strike.

Speer is awaiting trial on charges of parole violation and public drunkenness, according to McDaniel.

McDaniel said he could not confirm why Speer and Majeno were moved or whether other food strikers also were assigned to different cells.

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McDaniel speculated that the warden on duty Friday may have thought the inmates were trying to incite other prisoners.

“If ever we become of the opinion that one or more inmates may be in the process of trying to instigate a disturbance . . . it is not unreasonable for us to move them,” McDaniel said. He said he could not confirm whether the two inmates were being kept in their cells longer than previously.


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