MIAMI (WSVN) - A registered nurse working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has pled guilty in federal district court to conspiring to commit bribery, conspiring to provide contraband in a federal prison, and providing contraband in a federal prison.
Ruben Montanez-Mirabal, 33, was caught soliciting and obtaining illegal payments from inmates in exchange for bringing in prohibited objects, including controlled substances that had been soaked into sheets of paper. Montanez-Mirabal was employed at the Federal Detention Center – Miami (FDC-Miami) in downtown Miami during the time of the crimes, which spanned from November 2021 to late August 2022.
According to the evidence and a change of plea hearing, Montanez-Mirabal accepted thousands of dollars in bribes from inmates in exchange for violating his official duties by providing them with drug-soaked papers and other prohibited items. He would bring these items into FDC-Miami and either deliver them directly to the inmates or hide them in places where the inmate paying him could recover the contraband.
It was discovered that Montanez-Mirabal made a number of deliveries for inmates, including one delivery where he was observed hiding 37 drug-soaked pages underneath a shelving unit in a mop closet accessible to the inmate paying him. The investigators recovered the pages from the closet and found that the pages were laced with a synthetic cannabinoid-controlled substance and had the defendant’s fingerprints on them.
Montanez-Mirabal also admitted that he was aware that inmates were reselling the pages for $1,500 each, and that he delivered between 100 and 140 such pages to inmates inside FDC-Miami in exchange for the bribes he received.
The nurse faces up to 15 years in prison and will be sentenced on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. by United States District Judge Jose E. Martinez in Miami.
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