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Salinas Prison Guard Arrested In Drug Distribution Sting

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Sergio Noguera, corrections officer

Sergio Noguera (Santa Clara Co. Sheriff’s Office)

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GILROY (BCN) – A state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officer was arrested in Gilroy Tuesday on suspicion of providing drugs and cell phones to inmates at Salinas Valley State Prison.

Sergio Javier Noguera, a 38-year-old Salinas man, was arrested at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday when he showed up for a meeting with undercover detectives at Leavesley Road near U.S. Highway 101 in Gilroy, Santa Clara County sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Sung said.

The detectives had disguised themselves as the inmates’ outside sources, and Noguera was expecting them to give him an ounce of methamphetamine, an ounce of heroin, 3.5 ounces of marijuana, four cell phones and $2,500 in cash for delivering the items, Sung said.

Noguera was arrested without incident, bringing a six-month investigation to a close. The investigation started after an informant told authorities that Noguera was providing the narcotics and cell phones to inmates, Sung said.

The prison had already launched an internal investigation of Noguera, and assisted sheriff’s detectives during their investigation.

He is in custody on $130,000 bail on suspicion of possession of controlled substances.

The case “is detrimental to the law enforcement community, but this is a clear example of how we police on our own, and hold ourselves to a higher standard,” Sung said.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact Santa Clara County sheriff’s detectives during business hours at (408) 808-4770. During non-business hours, call (408) 808-4410.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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