A former Correctional Officer at the DeKalb County Jail who allegedly received money from inmates for smuggling tobacco and other items to them inside their cells entered a plea to Official Misconduct on Tuesday, June 20 in Criminal Court.
Judge David Patterson presided.
25 year old Francisco Rodriguez, under a plea agreement, is to receive a two year TDOC sentence all suspended to supervised probation. He has applied for judicial diversion.
Rodriguez was named in a sealed indictment returned by the DeKalb County Grand Jury on Monday, April 4, 2016. He was charged in the indictment for Official Misconduct and Introduction of Contraband.
Rodriguez worked for the Sheriff's Department as a Correctional Officer for six months before being terminated by Sheriff Patrick Ray after an internal investigation into the allegations.
Sheriff Ray told WJLE how the story unfolded.
"In December, 2015 I obtained information of one of the Correctional Officers putting small amounts of tobacco and other items into a cell at the DeKalb County Jail. This Correctional Officer was identified as Francisco Rodriguez".
"Rodriguez started with the department approximately six months prior to this investigation. His background check that was conducted on him had positive recommendations from people here in DeKalb County," said Sheriff Ray.
"As soon as the information about Rodriguez was given to me I immediately notified my detectives to start an internal investigation into this matter. I also contacted the District Attorney General's Office and obtained consent for my department to proceed with the internal investigation," he continued.
"During the course of the investigation my detectives did an outstanding job with their investigation work. They conducted surveillance work, obtained four search warrants, and interviewed multiple people in connection with the investigation. The detectives were also able to obtain information that Rodriguez had placed a cell phone into one of the cells where he could have secret conversations with inmates and set up drops of tobacco and other items for this particular cell. The cell phone was recovered in a cell area of the jail. The detectives also found that Rodriguez received money to perform these actions".
"As a result of the internal investigation I terminated Francisco Rodriguez on December 23, 2015", said Sheriff Ray.