4 Corrections officers charged with bribery _ Amarillo.com _ Amarillo Globe-News u s anti money laundering laws

The associated press

GOLIAD (AP) – four state prison guards face felony bribery charges after agreeing to launder supposed drug money for inmates, authorities said.

The arrests monday were the result of an undercover sting by the texas department of criminal justice internal affairs office and the goliad county sheriff’s office, prison system spokesman larry todd said.

Three of the suspects, eliseo martinez, 29; his wife, kimberly martinez, 23; and brother-in-law, ronald belcher, 24; were guards at the mcconnell unit in beeville about 40 miles northwest of corpus christi. The fourth was mark valdez, 31, a guard at the nearby garza west unit.

Todd said the arrests were not connected with recent troubles at the mcconnell unit, where a guard was stabbed to death on dec. 17 and an uprising involving 80 inmates was quelled three days later.

This is a totally separate and isolated incident of alleged wrongdoing, he said.U s anti money laundering laws

Investigators developed the case for several weeks after receiving information about activities by free-world individuals along with the people at the prison, todd said.

He refused to elaborate on the alleged conspiracy and said investigators do not yet know whether the guards succeeded in laundering any money. No further arrests are expected, he said.

The martinezes and belcher were arrested at 1:25 p.M. In an undisclosed, public location in goliad, 25 miles west of victoria, after eliseo martinez took a package containing what he believed to be $60,000, todd said.

Eliseo martinez understood he was to launder $50,000 for an inmate and keep $10,000 for himself, todd said.

Kimberly martinez and belcher were nearby acting as lookouts and were apprehended quickly, he said.

Valdez was arrested at his beeville home about 6:45 p.M. After agreeing to a similar money laundering arrangement, todd said.U s anti money laundering laws valdez was to meet an undercover officer to get the money but instead sent his 16-year-old half brother, he said.

The brother was questioned and released.

All four suspects are charged with bribery, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. Eliseo martinez and belcher are free on $20,000 bond each.

Kimberly martinez also is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer because she drove her ford explorer into an internal affairs officer’s car while trying to flee, authorities said. She posted bonds totaling $40,000.

Valdez remained in the bee county jail on monday. His bond was set at $30,000.

Todd said the martinezes resigned from their jobs. Belcher and valdez remain employed, he said.

Our policy gives an officer 48 hours after a felony arrest to notify their supervisor, at which time the appropriate action can be taken, todd said.U s anti money laundering laws

The associated press

GOLIAD (AP) – four state prison guards face felony bribery charges after agreeing to launder supposed drug money for inmates, authorities said.

The arrests monday were the result of an undercover sting by the texas department of criminal justice internal affairs office and the goliad county sheriff’s office, prison system spokesman larry todd said.

Three of the suspects, eliseo martinez, 29; his wife, kimberly martinez, 23; and brother-in-law, ronald belcher, 24; were guards at the mcconnell unit in beeville about 40 miles northwest of corpus christi. The fourth was mark valdez, 31, a guard at the nearby garza west unit.

Todd said the arrests were not connected with recent troubles at the mcconnell unit, where a guard was stabbed to death on dec. 17 and an uprising involving 80 inmates was quelled three days later.

This is a totally separate and isolated incident of alleged wrongdoing, he said.U s anti money laundering laws

Investigators developed the case for several weeks after receiving information about activities by free-world individuals along with the people at the prison, todd said.

He refused to elaborate on the alleged conspiracy and said investigators do not yet know whether the guards succeeded in laundering any money. No further arrests are expected, he said.

The martinezes and belcher were arrested at 1:25 p.M. In an undisclosed, public location in goliad, 25 miles west of victoria, after eliseo martinez took a package containing what he believed to be $60,000, todd said.

Eliseo martinez understood he was to launder $50,000 for an inmate and keep $10,000 for himself, todd said.

Kimberly martinez and belcher were nearby acting as lookouts and were apprehended quickly, he said.

Valdez was arrested at his beeville home about 6:45 p.M. After agreeing to a similar money laundering arrangement, todd said.U s anti money laundering laws valdez was to meet an undercover officer to get the money but instead sent his 16-year-old half brother, he said.

The brother was questioned and released.

All four suspects are charged with bribery, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. Eliseo martinez and belcher are free on $20,000 bond each.

Kimberly martinez also is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer because she drove her ford explorer into an internal affairs officer’s car while trying to flee, authorities said. She posted bonds totaling $40,000.

Valdez remained in the bee county jail on monday. His bond was set at $30,000.

Todd said the martinezes resigned from their jobs. Belcher and valdez remain employed, he said.

Our policy gives an officer 48 hours after a felony arrest to notify their supervisor, at which time the appropriate action can be taken, todd said.U s anti money laundering laws