REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF)_ A San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputy accused of conspiring with corrections officers and a known gang member to smuggle cellphones and drugs into a county jail pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.
Prosecutors say 51-year-old Juan Lopez is charged with conspiracy to commit a crime with a gang enhancement and conspiracy to obstruct justice with a gang enhancement.
In November, authorities arrested Lopez along and two corrections officers on suspicion of smuggling cellphones and drugs to a member of the Hells Angels at a county jail in Redwood City.
Prosecutors said an independent investigation revealed the men delivered cellphones, oxycodone, alprazolam and ibuprofen to an inmate while he was in custody between April and December 2013.
Prosecutors say the inmate was able to use the cellphones to communicate to his mother, sister, girlfriend and fellow Hells Angels members while in jail, prosecutors said.
They say the corrections officers have more than a decade of experience with the sheriff’s office and Juan Lopez has 26 years on the job. He ran unsuccessfully to unseat Sheriff Greg Munks in June, receiving 1.4 percent of the vote.