Pubdate: Fri, 11 Oct 2002
Source: Pueblo Chieftain (CO)
Copyright: 2002 The Star-Journal Publishing Corp.
Author: Robert Boczkeiwicz


A Florence prison guard was charged Thursday with accepting bribes and
bringing illegal drugs into the prison for an inmate-run narcotics business.

The charges against Felix Ira Pina, 31, of Canon City were filed in U.S.
District Court. Prosecution documents list Pina as a guard at the U.S.

Pina was arrested Wednesday when he accepted a $1,000 bribe and received 48
grams of black tar heroin from an undercover agent, according to a court
affidavit by agent Paul Sullivan of the U.S. Justice Department's office of
inspector general.

The inspector general's staff investigates crimes involving prison employees
because federal prisons are part of the Justice Department.

Pina was approached in April by an inmate to bring illicit drugs into the
prison in exchange for bribes, Sullivan said in the affidavit.

In July, Pina agreed to bring marijuana to inmates, the agent wrote.

In a clandestine meeting behind a Canon City restaurant, Pina accepted
$1,000 and received five baggies of marijuana and a bag that he believed
contained heroin, according to the affidavit.

Pina's procedure was to hand the drugs to inmates in the kitchen, out of
view of security cameras, Sullivan wrote.

In addition to being charged with accepting a bribe and attempting to
provide an inmate with a prohibited object, Pina also is charged with
possessing heroin with the intent of distributing it.

Wednesday's arrest occurred in Colorado Springs, the same day agents
obtained a search warrant for Pina's home.

He was advised of his rights Thursday by a magistrate and released on a
personal recognizance bond.

Pina came under investigation in September when an informant notified
authorities, the affidavit said.
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