AP NEWS

California prison guard charged with trying to buy drugs

June 26, 2019

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — A California prison guard and a Minnesota man have been charged with trying to buy cocaine and methamphetamine to sell.

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged Joseph Andrade of Bakersfield and Leonard Velazquez-Martinez of Minnesota with conspiracy to possess drugs with intent to distribute them.

They were arrested on Monday in Kern County. It’s unclear whether they have attorneys.

Prosecutors say at the time, Andrade was a correction officer at Wasco State Prison in Wasco in California’s Central Valley.

Authorities say the men tried to buy two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of cocaine and 40 pounds (18.1 kilograms) of methamphetamine from someone they believed was a drug supplier but who actually was an undercover law enforcement officer.

If convicted, they could face up to life in prison and a $10 million fine.

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