A state corrections officer was arrested in Gilroy on suspicion
of supplying drugs and cell phones to inmates at Salinas Valley
State Prison, police said.
A state corrections officer was arrested in Gilroy on suspicion of supplying drugs and cell phones to inmates at Salinas Valley State Prison, police said.
California Department of Corrections officer Sergio Noguera, 38 of Salinas, was arrested Tuesday in a parking lot near U.S. 101 and Leavesley Road in Gilroy, where the suspect set up a rendezvous with his illicit sources to pick up drugs and cash.
He was arrested on suspicion of possession of controlled substances by undercover officers from the Santa Clara County Special Operations Division, who were disguised as Noguera’s criminal contacts, according to Sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Sung.
The arrest was part of a six-month undercover investigation, Sung said. In April, an informant told Santa Clara County authorities that Noguera, who was assigned to the Salinas Valley correctional facility, had been providing controlled substances and cell phones to inmates housed at the facility.
Salinas Valley prison authorities launched an internal investigation into the accusations against Noguera, and assisted Santa Clara County in the criminal investigation, Sung said.
Noguera was arrested without incident when he showed up at the parking lot of Denny’s restaurant in Gilroy to retrieve an ounce of methamphetamine, an ounce of heroin, three ounces of marijuana, four cell phones and $2,500 in cash from undercover officers, who he expected to be his outside criminal sources, Sung said.
Sung did not know if the parking lot had been Noguera’s normal pickup point for previous transactions of contraband, and did not know how long the officer had been involved in the alleged illegal activity.
The investigation is ongoing, Sung added.
Noguera is in custody at Santa Clara County jail in lieu of $130,000 bail on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance. Although alleged previous crimes committed by Noguera took place in Salinas, local authorities were involved in the investigation because they received the initial tip in April.
Anyone with more information about this incident may call the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office at (408) 808-4770 or during non-business hours, (408) 808-4410.