Ex-Texas Prison Official Pleads Guilty to Evidence Tampering

A former prison major pleads guilty after planting screwdrivers in an inmate's cell at a Texas prison.

A former prison major has pleaded guilty to felony tampering for planting screwdrivers in an inmate's cell at a Texas prison that was investigated by the state following allegations that a captain required employees to hit a daily quota of disciplinary write-ups.

Juan Jackson entered a plea this week that handed him four years of probation. Jackson is also required to pay a $1,500 fine, abide by curfew rules and perform 120 hours of community service. He won't face time behind bars and his records will be expunged, as long as he doesn't violate his probation, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Prison officials and Jackson's attorney didn't respond to the newspaper's request for comment Tuesday.

Jackson was one of four former prison officials accused in the evidence-planting scheme at W.F. Ramsey Unit in Brazoria County that came to light last year. He resigned in June 2018.

Former sergeant Marcus Gallegos also pleaded guilty and agreed in a plea deal last year to the same penalties as Jackson. Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne said the men could face up to 10 years in prison if they fail probation.

The other two ex-officials accused of involvement in the evidence tampering -- Lt. James Thomas and Officer George Wolf -- haven't entered pleas.

The charges were filed amid a Texas Department of Criminal Justice investigation into a disciplinary quota system requiring officers to write up inmates.

Allegations of the quota system surfaced in May 2018, when the Chronicle obtained an email written by Capt. Reginald Gilbert.

"Effective March 10, 2018, each Sergeant will be required to turn in at least two cases written by officers for a Level 2 Code 35 `Unauthorized Storage of Property,"' Gilbert wrote in the email. "Two each day is my requirement. Remember this is to be done each workday without exception."

Any sergeants who missed their quota, would face consequences ranging from documenting the oversight on an employee performance log to formal disciplinary action, Gilbert wrote.

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