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Liberty County correctional officer accused of stealing money from people being booked in jail

HOUSTON – A correctional officer was arrested and charged with a state jail felony.

Mayra Gallegos Balderas, once a correctional officer in Liberty County, is now out of a job. 

She’s accused of stealing money from people while they were being booked into jail. Investigators said the total was nearly $1,500.

Oscar Aleman, a contract worker, said he was one of the victims. 

"Why not bring my money? I got my receipt. I got everything. So why not bring the money back? It’s crazy," Aleman said.

He said he was arrested for a DUI in March and when he was booked, he had $2,550 on him that was documented during the arrest, broken down even by the denomination of bills.

But when he was released almost 50 days later, Aleman said he got back a whole lot less.

"I had $2,550. And (they) only bring back $1,500," Aleman said. 

Aleman said despite missing $1,000, he is glad someone has been arrested in the case.

As for getting back his money back, that may not happen any time soon.

The county can’t reimburse any of the victims as it’s a private company that runs the jail, which Gallegos-Balderas was contracted to work for.

One of the only ways Aleman may get any of his money back is through court proceedings -- if there is a conviction and the judge orders restitution to be paid.

"I need my money. I’m working for my money, you know?" Aleman said.