Former employees of La Villa federal detention center plead guilty to bribery

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Two former employees of the East Hidalgo Detention Center have pleaded guilty to accepting bribes for smuggling contraband into the federal immigration facility in La Villa, the McAllen Monitor reported.

Jayson Catalan, 37, of Mercedes, and Jhaziel Loredo, 32, of Progreso, appeared in federal court this week on separate days; each pleaded guilty to one count of bribery of public officials and witnesses.

Prosecutors said that Catalan smuggled food to prisoners in exchange for money about a dozen times between January and July 2019 when he served as commissary officer. He would hide the food in his own lunch and meet with prisoners’ families outside the prison for payment of about $80 per incident, the newspaper reported.

Loredo was accused of smuggling Xanax and marijuana into the facility in exchange for money between October 2018 and August 2019.

The newspaper reported that plea agreements show that prosecutors will recommend the men get reduced sentences for their admissions of guilt. Catalan will be sentenced on May 12 and Loredo on June 24. Both men are out of prison on bond.

Four other former employees of East Hidalgo Detention Center still face charges – three for bribery, for accepting money to smuggle food or drugs to prisoners, and one for sexual abuse of an inmate, the newspaper reported.

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