DepCor completes inquiry into hole-in-fence - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DepCor completes inquiry into hole-in-fence

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The Department Of Corrections has completed its investigation into a hole that was discovered in its perimeter fence four months ago. "That investigation has concluded," said Lt. Antone Aguon.

It was in March the entire Department of Corrections was placed on lockdown following the discovery of a 12 inch by 12 inch hole in the perimeter fence on the backside of the domes at the Mangilao compound. "As a result when the investigation happened certain other things were discovered during that investigation. We never really found out who cut the hole," he said.

As we reported after the hole was discovered DepCor officers found a cell phone, drug paraphernalia and other contraband inside the dome where dozens of pre-trial detainees were being held. Five detainees had tested positive and a total of 14 individuals were moved to the maximum security unit. Aguon today tells KUAM the investigation did not determine that the hole was part of a conspiracy to bring drugs into the compound nor was it a revolving door. Aguon adding he believes the hole was only there less than 24 hours.

Meanwhile as a result of the investigation two DOC employees were terminated Lt. David Alvarez who was the supervisor on duty at the time and Corrections Officer I Aaron Jessop who was assigned to the Housing Unit. Lt. Aguon adds the two were terminated for failing to follow proper protocol and reporting requirements, for example Alvarez is accused of failing to notify the doc director until the following day after the hole was discovered.

While DOC has stepped up security Aguon admits its not where it should be. He said, "We do have a perimeter officer at times. and we are mandates to keep it manned 24 hours unfortunately with the shortage of personnel it is very hard to keep everything manned the way that it should be we only have 151 officers based on our analysis we need 260. So we're short over 100 officers right now we are on a 12 hours shift and the officers are tired and they continue to move forward."

"We do our best we do searches and shakedowns several times during the week some units are hit three times during one week. We are getting on our staff to do more searches but again this is prison we have people in here who have drug issues and drug problems and they will do whatever they can to try to smuggle this stuff in. It's a constant cat and mouse game. But we do our best to stay on top of it."

We should add DOC does still owe employees for overtime - they are now currently down to owing two pay periods. As for the two terminated employees they have filed appeals with the Civil Service Commission.

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