Prison Guards Indicted for Planting Evidence
Four Texas prison guards involved in the planting of screwdrivers in an inmate’s cell so the inmate would face disciplinary measures were indicted on charges of tampering with governmental records and official oppression.
Former Major Juan Jackson, former Lt. James Thomas, former Sgt. Marcus Gallegos and former Officer George Wolfe were indicted in Brazoria County on July 10, 2018. They were all employed at the Ramsey Unit in Rothsharon, Texas.
A grand jury voted to indict the four men in Brazoria County and a judge authorized the arrest warrants on Tuesday.
The four men were involved in a scheme to plant illegal contraband in inmates’ cells in order to write bogus disciplinary reports on the inmates. Disciplinary cases can get inmates kicked out of classes and programs required for parole. Inmates can also lose their prison jobs along with other privileges such as commissary and phone privileges.
The illegal planting of the screwdrivers was discovered when the Office of the Inspector General was conducting a state-wide investigation of a short-lived illegal quota system.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials have repeatedly stated that the evidence-planting scheme was an “isolated incident” and is not related to the illegal quota system. However, the same former major was involved in both activities.
Inmates and their families have been complaining to TDCJ officials about the regular occurrence of officers planting drugs, weapons, and other forms of contraband. But their complaints fell on deaf ears.
Within the last five years, Texas officials have arrested more than 75 TDCJ guards for tampering with evidence or records.
To date, five officials have been fired, another official resigned while under investigation, several wardens were demoted, and several others guard were demoted or transferred.
More than 640 inmate disciplinary cases have been dismissed since the discovery of the illegal quota system.
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