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RGV man admits to paying prison guard to smuggle cell phones into detention center

department of justice DOJ
Posted at 3:36 PM, May 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-16 22:46:20-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Pharr man admitted to smuggling cell phones into a detention center by paying a guard to deliver them, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office Southern District of Texas.

24-year-old Abel Angel Solis confessed on April 24 to paying a prison guard at the La Villa Detention Center to smuggle cell phones on to the premises.

The guard, 36-year-old Mercedes resident Jose Martin Espinoza was caught trying to smuggle a cell phone wrapped in cellophane under his work cap on May 17, 2022.

Espinoza admitted that Solis paid him $1,500 through Cash App to take three phones to another LVDC inmate, Sixto Gonzalez.

Gonzalez is part of a hostage case that also had court proceedings on Monday.

Sentencing will begin on July 31 and Aug. 18 for Espinoza and Solis, respectively.

They both face up to 15 years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

Solis will remain in custody pending sentencing, while Espinoza was permitted to remain on bond.

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