Federal Contract Corrections Officer in Arizona Arrested While Attempting to Provide Cocaine To An Inmate

PHOENIX (LAWFUEL) – Juan Nunez, 39, of Coolidge, Ariz., was arrested by the FBI yesterday and charged today with Attempted Provision of a Prohibited Object to an Inmate and Possession of Cocaine With Intent to Distribute. Nunez is employed as a corrections officer by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and currently works at CCA’s Central Arizona Detention Center located in Florence, Ariz. The CCA facility houses federal inmates per a contract with the federal government.

The criminal complaint alleges that since October 30, 2008, Nunez has been negotiating with an inmate to bring cocaine into the facility from an outside source on the inmate’s behalf. On November 6, 2008, Nunez met with an undercover FBI agent acting as the outside source. During the meeting, Nunez accepted a ½ ounce of cocaine for the inmate and a $1,600 payment for agreeing to smuggle the cocaine into the facility. Nunez was arrested immediately after he took possession of the cocaine and money. At his initial appearance today in federal court in Phoenix, Nunez was held over for a detention hearing set for Monday, November 10th at 3:45 p.m.

A conviction for Attempted Provision of a Prohibited Object to an Inmate in this case carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine or both; and a conviction for Possession of Cocaine With Intent to Distribute in this case carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a $1,000,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, the judge ultimately assigned to this case will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation in this case is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Marana Police Department, the Tucson Police Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution is being handled by Frederick A. Battista, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.


RELEASE NUMBER: 2008-293(Nunez)

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