Former corrections officer admits smuggling drugs into prison

SAN DIEGO — A former corrections officer at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court Thursday to drug and bribery charges, admitting he and others smuggled methamphetamine, heroin and cell phones into the prison for two years in exchange for about $45,000.

According to his plea agreement, 39-year-old Anibal Navarro admitted he was paid by prisoners, their family members and associates to smuggle drugs and cell phones into the prison up to four times a month from 2014 to 2016.

Navarro, of Chula Vista, was arrested by FBI agents and officials from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations Office of Internal Affairs on June 26, 2016, as he attempted to smuggle heroin, methamphetamine and cell phones into the prison.

Ten additional individuals, including inmates and their associates on the outside, also were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that they conspired with Navarro to smuggle drugs and cell phones into the prison.

Their cases are pending.