Miami-Dade corrections officer, wife charged with smuggling contraband into jail

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Miami-Dade corrections officer and his wife are accused of receiving payments to bring contraband inside a jail.

Gary West Alford, who has worked as a corrections officer in the county for 23 years, and his wife Shantica Anastacia Alford both face multiple felony charges for allegedly sneaking items into the Metro West Detention Center.

Police arrested the couple Thursday following an investigation. According to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, the couple worked as a team to meet with an undercover detective as part of an arrangement to bring mobile phones and food into the jail in exchange for cash.

“Smuggling contraband into a jail facility can endanger the life of every correctional officer and inmate, while adding to the potential criminal activity of individuals already removed from our streets,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “This law enforcement partnership with the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Miami-Dade Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has brought to justice individuals who sought to use an official government position for personal profit.”

Miami-Dade Corrections released a statement about the arrests, saying in part, “The introduction of contraband poses threats to the safety and integrity of our detention facilities … We are saddened that the actions of one employee could tarnish the good work of the proud men and women of MDCR who dedicate their lives to ensuring the safety of the public.”

“This arrest should send a strong message that employees involved in these types of crimes will not be tolerated and will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law,” said Miami-Dade Corrections spokesperson Juan Diasgranados.

Gary Alford faces seven counts of unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior, a second-degree felony, and six counts of introduction of contraband into a county detention facility, a third-degree felony. He also faces one count of third-degree felony conspiracy.

Shantica Alford has been charged with six counts of introduction of contraband into a county detention facility and one count of conspiracy.

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