Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Correctional Officer Arrested for Allegedly Smuggling Drugs

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2021 at 11:58 AM

click to enlarge The Humboldt County jail. - FILE
  • File
  • The Humboldt County jail.
A correctional officer was arrested Tuesday by the Humboldt County Drug Force following a month-long investigation into information that he was smuggling drugs into the jail.

Eureka resident Ricardo Tranquilino Aguirre, 27, who had been at the job since September of 2019, resigned his position today, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reported. According to a news release, the drug task force investigation began last month after the sheriff’s office received information that Aguirre had been bringing contraband in the facility.

The release states that evidence found since his arrest indicates he had been doing so for months and was acting alone.

“Correctional deputies are hired to protect and serve those that are in the care and custody of the Correctional Facility. As members of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office we hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards of conduct,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said in a release. “Ricardo Aguirre’s criminal and disgraceful conduct is the antithesis of the professional standards, ethics and organizational values of the Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Aguirre’s actions do not represent the principles that are the foundation of our organization. He will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law and I will be working with the District Attorney to ensure this case is fully prosecuted.”

A previous case involving a correction officer occurred in 2009.

Read the full HCSO release below:
In February of 2021, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received information that a correctional deputy was involved in the smuggling of contraband into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on behalf of inmates. The Humboldt County Drug Task Force (DTF) was assigned to investigate.

A month-long DTF investigation revealed that Ricardo Tranquilino Aguirre, 27, of Eureka, CA, was the involved deputy. On March 2, 2021, at about 5:30 p.m., Aguirre was taken into custody inside the Correctional Facility for being in possession of a controlled substance while armed (HS 11370.1(a)), smuggling contraband into a jail (PC 4573), possession of a controlled substance for sales (HS 11351) and transportation/sale of a controlled substance (HS 11352(a)).

Aguirre has been a correctional deputy with the Sheriff’s Office since September 2019 and has resigned from his position as of today. Since his arrest, further evidence was discovered that Aguirre had been smuggling drugs into the facility for the past several months and he had acted alone. The investigation is being referred to the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

“Correctional Deputies are hired to protect and serve those that are in the care and custody of the Correctional Facility. As members of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office we hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards of conduct,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said. “Ricardo Aguirre’s criminal and disgraceful conduct is the antithesis of the professional standards, ethics and organizational values of the Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Aguirre’s actions do not represent the principles that are the foundation of our organization. He will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law and I will be working with the District Attorney to ensure this case is fully prosecuted.”

Sheriff Honsal would like to thank the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing (POP) team, and the Drug Enforcement Administration for their support during this investigation.   
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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