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Aug. 23, 2011

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Former TDCJ Guard Pleads Guilty to Trafficking Heroin

HOUSTON - A former Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Institution Division guard has been conviced of possessing with intent to distribute heroin, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Alejandro Smith, 21, pleaded guilty on Monday, Aug. 22, 2011, to the federal felony offense admitting that on June 1, 2011, while employed as a TDCJ guard he received a purple duffle bag containing one pound of heroin which he intended to distribute. The investigation leading to Smith’s arrest began on May 31, 2011, when the FBI learned from a confidential source of information that Smith, a TDCJ ugard at the Eastham Unit, was providing contraband to prisoners. The following day, while in the presence of a undercover officer, Smith arrived at the parking lot of a Huntsville area discount store driving a green Buick and parked next to an undercover vehicle. Smith got out of his vehicle, entered the passenger side of the undercover vehicle and was given a purple duffle bag containing heroin. After Smith retrieved the bag, he returned to the green Buick and placed the purple duffle bag containing the heroin in his  front passenger seat. Immediately following the delivery, Smith was arrested.

Judge Lynn N. Hughes, who presided over yesterday afternoon’s hearing, accepted Smith’s guilty plea, convicted him of the offense and set sentencing for Nov. 21, 2011. Smith has been permitted to remain on bond pending his sentencing hearing. Smith faces no less than five years and up to 40 years in federal prison and a $5 million dollar fine. 

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the FBI and Texas Rangers with the assistance of TDCJ-Office of Inspector General, Huntsville and Katy Police Departments and the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.  

Assistant U.S. Attorney James McAlister prosecuted the case.