HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - A former detention officer with the Harris County Sheriff's Office has been charged with giving food and providing a cellphone to a jail inmate.
Branden Paez, of Spring, is the fourth former Harris County detention officer to be charged with the crime this year.
On Tuesday, the 20-year-old was arrested and charged with bringing contraband into a correctional facility.
Authorities say Paez is accused of providing tobacco products, chips, candy and other items to an inmate.
Paez also allowed the inmate to use his cellphone to contact a friend who was not incarcerated, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
Court records indicate that Paez accepted $25 from the friend.
"Here's what I want the public to understand," Sheriff Adrian Garcia said. "One, 99 percent of our jail staffers do a great job in difficult circumstances, guarding almost 9,000 inmates in the nation's third largest jail. Two, we have zero tolerance for law enforcement employees who decide to break the law instead of enforce it."
Investigators in the sheriff's office's internal affairs division say they continue to search for any evidence of delivery of jail contraband or other illegal conduct by staff.
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