Latest Arrest In BSO Smuggling Crackdown

FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The Broward Sheriff’s Office, troubled by employees smuggling drugs and other illegal items to jail inmates, made another arrest after finding an employee of the Broward Detention Center carrying a package containing drugs and other illegal items into the facility.

BSO Detention Technician Tavares West was suspended without pay and was charged with introducing contraband into a detention facility, official misconduct and possession of cocaine.

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BSO detectives said West arrived for work at the North Broward Detention Center with a bag of contraband that he had just been paid to deliver to an inmate as part of an undercover sting.

Investigators suspected Tavares had been smuggling items into the jail, and set up a sting where an undercover agent posted as a family member of an inmate and offered to pay Tavares to pick up a package and deliver it to that inmate.

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West asked to meet the person away from the jail, out of view of security cameras. BSO said West took a plastic bag containing a pair of headphones, eight AAA batteries, a pack of Newport cigarettes and two grams of cocaine, and demanded $400 dollars.

Investigators were waiting when West arrived at work, and found both the bag and the bills, which had been marked for identification.

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Since January, BSO has arrested three deputies, two former deputies, a technician, a nurse employed by a vendor and four inmates as part of a crackdown on jailhouse smuggling.