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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Former Instructor At Big Spring Correctional Center Sentenced To Six Months In Federal Prison And Remanded Into Custody

Defendant Lied To Federal Authorities About Smuggling And Selling Contraband

LUBBOCK, Texas — A former instructor at the Big Spring Correctional Center (BSCC), who admitted smuggling contraband into the facility, selling it, and then lying about it to federal investigators, was sentenced today, announced John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Ronald Craig Maxwell, 44, of Big Spring, Texas, was sentenced to six months in federal prison this morning by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings. Maxwell pleaded guilty in October 2014 to an Information charging one count of making false statements and aiding and abetting. Judge Cummings remanded Maxwell to the custody of the U.S. Marshal following this morning’s hearing.

In a related case, BSCC inmate, Lorenzo Salgado, 53, pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony and was sentenced last month to serve six months in prison on the conviction. Salgado admitted he concealed the fact that Maxwell smuggled contraband in to him.

According to documents filed in the cases, on July 31, 2013, BSCC officials conducted a search of Maxwell’s office in the prison and discovered 30 packs of tobacco. Maxwell was a contract teacher from Howard College who taught at BSCC. Salgado was one of his students.

On August 2, 2013, Special Agents with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Investigations Division, Department of Justice, interviewed Maxwell, who denied that he had smuggled any contraband into the prison or received any money, or anything else, from inmates or family or friends of inmates. Instead, Maxwell stated that he had smuggled tobacco out of the BSCC when bags of what he believed to be marijuana or tobacco dropped from the ceiling into his office at the prison.

Further investigation revealed that several inmates had established a relationship with Maxwell, and that he was smuggling contraband to them in exchange for money. Maxwell eventually confessed that he had intentionally provided a false statement to the OIG Special Agents, and he admitted that he had indeed smuggled tobacco and alcohol into the BSCC for inmate Salgado. He further stated that he had smuggled alcohol and approximately 150-200 bags of Buglar tobacco, and he was paid at least $4,500 for the contraband.

The Department of Justice Office OIG conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulina Jacobo prosecuted.

Updated June 22, 2015