Deputy Lt. John Davis said the investigation involved some missing money from an inmate’s property.
As soon as Sheriff Carlos Carrizales Jr. heard that money was missing, he ordered Davis and the Criminal Investigations Division to look into the matter.
Investigators reviewed several hours of video footage and discovered a jailer, identified as Angel Perez, as the suspect in the case.
During an interview between Davis and Perez, the suspect admitted he had taken $80 from the inmate’s property.
Davis said a theft of that amount of money normally is a Class B misdemeanor, but because Perez was a public servant at the time of the theft, the charge was enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor.
If convicted, Perez could be sentenced to a year in the Bee County Jail and fined $4,000.
According to a press release filed by Davis, Justice of the Peace Raul Casarez issued an arrest warrant, and the suspect was taken into custody on Aug. 12. He was locked in a cell in the same jail where he had been working.
“Perez had only been working at the jail for about two months and had been hired to address a shortage of jail staff,” Davis said.
“Sheriff Carrizales was obviously disappointed and angered by Perez’s actions,” Davis said. “The sheriff said that the Texas Penal Code rightfully holds law enforcement officials to a higher standard and punishes those who betray the public’s trust more harshly.”
Carrizales said he has a “zero tolerance” policy on such issues as demonstrated by the suspect’s arrest.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5220, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.