Thursday, July 2, 2009

Prison Guard Charged With Bribery, Drug Trafficking

A state prison guard was arrested Wednesday after deputies say he traveled to Collier County to pick up cocaine and marijuana which he planned to smuggle into Everglades Correctional Institution in exchange for cash.

What Shamel Watson, 30, of Miramar didn’t know was that the person he arranged to pick up the drugs and cash from was an undercover Collier County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Arrest reports gave this account:

The Florida Department of Corrections contacted CCSO in June to assist in the department’s investigation after it received information that Watson had made arrangements with two inmates to bring a large amount of cocaine and marijuana into the Miami-Dade County prison, where he is a correctional officer.

On June 20, an undercover CCSO deputy received a cell phone call from Watson, who said he was a state corrections employee and that he was calling on behalf of an inmate.

At the deputy’s request, Watson called back on June 24 and arranged to meet the deputy to pick up 1 pound of marijuana and 4 ounces of cocaine, which he would deliver to the two inmates. Watson asked to be paid $1,000 for his services.

Around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Watson arrived at the 63 mile marker of Interstate 75 in Collier County in a 2002 blue Nissan Maxima to pick up the drugs and cash from the undercover deputy.

The deputy handed Watson cocaine and marijuana. Watson told the deputy he did not need to weigh the drugs. The deputy then gave Watson $1,000 cash.

Watson was then taken into custody.

He was charged with marijuana possession with intent to deliver, cocaine trafficking and receiving a bribe, all felonies.