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Three arrested for allegedly smuggling narcotics into Murrieta jail

Three suspects were in custody Saturday on suspicion of conspiracy and smuggling narcotics into a correctional facility, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department announced.

The suspects were identified as Maritza Hernandez, 43, of Yucca Valley along with 35-year-old Jose Martinez and 28-year-old Richard Carrasco, who were already in custody at the Cois Byrd Detention Center.

The sheriff’s Gang Intelligence Unit and Corrections Central Investigations Unit opened an investigation into inmates and a member of the public allegedly smuggling narcotics into the jail system last month.

During the investigation, members of the Gang Intelligence Unit allegedly thwarted and intercepted two smuggling attempts.    

On Friday, authorities served a residential search warrant in Yucca Valley with assistance from the Riverside Sheriff’s Alternative Sentencing Program, Corrections K-9 Team and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. They allegedly seized 18.2 grams of methamphetamine and evidence of narcotic sales.

Hernandez was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and furnishing narcotics to a person in a correctional facility and narcotic sales. Martinez and Carrasco were being accused of conspiracy and smuggling narcotics into a correctional facility.

Carrasco was previously sentenced for violation of a protective order, according to a search of inmate records. The reason why Martinez was already in custody was not immediately clear.

Anyone with additional information about the case was encouraged to contact investigator Justin Williams at 951-505-1198.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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