Law enforcement officials arrested an area prison guard this week, charging him with bribery, conspiracy to introduce drugs into a correctional facility, and drug trafficking, Broward criminal lawyer William Moore has learned. Police say that 30-year-old prison guard Shamel Watson was apprehended during a sting in which he attempted to purchase or receive one pound of marijuana and four ounces of cocaine. They believe he intended to take the controlled substances to the Everglades Correctional Institute, which is located in western Fort Lauderdale-Dade County.
Watson is also believed to have planned to take two cell phones into the facility, which is also a crime. The spokesperson for the Florida Department of Corrections stated that, despite reports of prison guard misconduct, most contraband in the prison system is brought to inmates by visitors. Still, the Department has had its history of problems, says Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer Moore. In May, 21 prison officials were fired, disciplined, or forced to resign after several children were stun gunned while visiting three corrections facilities on Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day.
Other problems have surfaced in the past few years, as well. James Crosby, the former head of the Department of Corrections, is now in prison after a 2005 conviction of his own for bribery. While he was in office, the Department suffered many arrests and firings for a variety of problems, including the misuse of inmate labor, drunken fights, theft, and a drug ring.
In this case, law enforcement officials had been tapping phones prior to the arrest. County officials set up a sting operation when he came to collect the drugs. Police apparently learned the details of the plan when an inmate described them in detail on a prison phone call, which was monitored by police. Watson was fired from his position immediately following the arrest.
Broward criminal lawyer William Moore has years of experience in criminal defense, including sex crimes and DUI. A felony or misdemeanor conviction of any type can have far-reaching consequences on your freedom, your employment, and your personal life. If you have been arrested in south Florida, contact William Moore, P.A., with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.