Ex-Fed Prison Guard in Texas Accused of Bribery

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ABILENE, Texas (AP) A former guard at a federal prison in West Texas has been charged with accepting money to smuggle a cellphone to an inmate.

An indictment unsealed Thursday in Abilene charges Big Spring police Officer Matthew Castaneda (kas-tuh-NAY'-duh) with bribery of public officials.

Prosecutors say the allegations involve the 23-year-old officer's previous employment as a guard with Federal Correctional Institution Big Spring. Authorities say Castaneda was arrested Wednesday, pleaded not guilty Thursday and was released on his own recognizance.

If convicted, Castaneda faces up to 15 years in prison. Details on the inmate in the bribery investigation were not released.

Big Spring police cooperated with the investigation and on Friday did not immediately provide details on Castaneda's employment status. No publicly listed phone number could immediately be located for him.

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