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Press Release

Former Bureau of Prisons Nurse Pleads Guilty to Contraband Smuggling and Bribery Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

MIAMI – Miami-Dade resident Ruben Montanez-Mirabal, 33, has pled guilty in federal district court to conspiring to commit bribery, conspiring to provide contraband in a federal prison, and providing contraband in a federal prison.

According to the two-count information and facts admitted at the change of plea hearing, from around November 2021 through late August 2022, Ruben Montanez-Mirabal, who was a registered nurse working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) at the Federal Detention Center – Miami (“FDC-Miami”) in downtown Miami, solicited and obtained illegal payments from FDC-Miami inmates in exchange for bringing in and delivering to them prohibited objects, including controlled substances that had been soaked into sheets of paper. In exchange for violating his official duties by providing these drug-soaked papers and other prohibited items, Montanez-Mirabal accepted thousands of dollars in bribes from these inmates and their associates.  Along with these payments, Montanez-Mirabal also solicited and received other things of value from inmates, including the free use of a Lamborghini and a Rolls-Royce.

Montanez-Mirabal would bring these prohibited items into FDC-Miami and then either deliver them directly to the inmates or hide them in places where the inmate paying him would be able to recover the contraband.  Those inmates would then re-sell the pages to other inmates at a rate of $1,500 per page.  As admitted at the change of plea, Montanez-Mirabal made a number of these deliveries for inmates, including one delivery where he was observed hiding thirty-seven drug-soaked pages underneath a shelving unit in a mop closet accessible to the inmate paying him.  Investigators were able to recover these pages from the closet and laboratory testing revealed that the pages were laced with a synthetic cannabinoid-controlled substance and had the defendant’s fingerprints on them. 

Montanez-Mirabal also admitted that during the charged conduct, he was aware that inmates were reselling the pages for $1,500 each, and that he delivered between 100 and 140 such pages to inmates inside FDC-Miami in exchange for the bribes he received. 

United States District Judge Jose E. Martinez will sentence Montanez-Mirabal in Miami on May 16, at 11:30 a.m. Montanez-Mirabal faces up to 15 years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, acting Special Agent in Charge Maged Behnam of the FBI Miami Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge James Boyersmith, Department of Justice Office of Inspector General, Miami Field Office, announced the guilty plea.

FBI Miami and DOJ-OIG Miami investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward N. Stamm is prosecuting it.  

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at, under case number 23-cr-20051.



Public Affairs Unit

U.S. Attorney’s Office

Southern District of Florida

Updated June 30, 2023

Public Corruption
Drug Trafficking