The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

August 2, 2011

2 Estelle Unit employees jailed in smuggling investigation

HUNTSVILLE — Two Texas Department of Criminal Justice employees were arrested at the Estelle Unit over the weekend in connection with an investigation concerning contraband being smuggled in to inmates.

Mary Elizabeth Walker and Yosennia Carolina Dejoie were both booked into the Walker County Jail on Saturday.

Walker is being held on two counts of bribery and remains in custody on a pair of $50,000 bonds. Dejoie has been charged with having prohibited substances and items in a correctional facility. Dejoie was released Sunday from the Walker County Jail on a $20,000 bond.

The TDCJ Office of the Inspector General is investigating the matter and would not comment on specifics of the case.

“I can confirm that we have an on going criminal investigation at the Estelle Unit which has resulted in the arrest of two employees. We do not comment on an open investigation other than that,” Inspector General John Moriarty wrote in an email.

The Estelle Unit has been placed on lockdown and officials were searching for contraband Monday.

Walker and Dejoie were correctional officers at the Estelle Unit, which is located 10 miles north of Huntsville on FM 3478. Walker had been employed by TDCJ for two years, and Dejoie had 10 months of service.

“We take these allegations seriously,” said Michelle Lyons, TDCJ director of public information. “If we hear even a rumor about contraband we are going to act on it and eradicate it from our units.”

Bribery is a second-degree felony punishable with a minimum of two to 20 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Prohibited substances and items (weapons, cellular phones, drugs, alcohol or tobacco) in a correctional facility is a third-degree felony, which carries a minimum of two to 10 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

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