Corrections Officer, Wife Accused of Smuggling Contraband

A Miami-Dade Corrections officer and his wife have been arrested after authorities say they were paid to smuggle contraband into a detention facility.

Gary West Alford, 49, and his wife, Shantica Anastacia Alford, are facing numerous charges after authorities say they smuggled mobile phones and food into the Metro West Detention Center, according to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.

Alford, who has been with the corrections department for 23 years, along with his wife met with an undercover Miami-Dade Police detectives to arrange payment for smuggling the items into the facility, officials said.

“Smuggling contraband into a jail facility can endanger the life of every correctional officer and inmate, while adding to the potential criminal activity of individuals already removed from our streets,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement.

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The husband and wife both face six counts each of introduction of contraband into a county detention facility and one count each of conspiracy. Gary Alford also faces seven counts of unlawful compensation for official behavior.

“We are saddened that the actions of one employee could tarnish the good work of the proud men and women of MDCR who dedicate their lives to ensuring the safety of the public,” Miami-Dade Corrections said in a statement. “MDCR takes allegations of employee misconduct seriously and this arrest should send a strong message that employees involved in these types of crimes will not be tolerated and will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law.”