- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

DEMING, N.M. (AP) - About 50 inmates in Sierra County will be transferred to the Luna County Detention Center after the Sierra County jail’s director was fired and three of its detention officers were arrested.

The Deming Headlight reports (https://bit.ly/1twhgvg) that a decision was made to transfer all Sierra County inmates to another facility while restructuring in Sierra County is completed.

Three Sierra County detention officers were accused in August of having bribed or threatened female inmates into having sexual relations with them. One officer is accused of seeking sex from inmates in exchange for prescription pills.

The Sierra County inmates are expected to stay at the Luna County jail for six months. Luna County is expected to be paid $500,000 as part of the agreement.

Luna County Manager Charles “Tink” Jackson said the county jail is prepared to handle the additional inmates. The jail typically houses fewer inmates during the winter.

Jackson said he saw an opportunity to keep the facility full and make some additional revenue at a time when revenue is normally down.

The Sierra County jail has had five lawsuits filed against it in the midst of the scandal. Removing the inmates from the facility would prevent further lawsuits, ultimately saving taxpayers money, Jackson said.

Jackson said he has “zero doubts” that his county can maintain the new inmates and keep the facility secured.

He noted because the facility was low on inmates, no additional staff was needed and it would not be an additional strain to its detention officers.


Information from: Headlight, https://www.demingheadlight.com

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