Miami-Dade jail officer jailed himself for accepting cash to smuggle in phone, cops say

Authorities have arrested a longtime Miami-Dade corrections officer on allegations he received illegal payments to bring in at least one phone and contraband food into the Metro West Detention Center.

Gary West Alford, a 23-year veteran, was arrested Thursday along with his wife, Shantica Anastacia Alford, who police say helped him in the scheme. He was charged with unlawful compensation and introducing contraband into a county detention facility.

The Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation department has vowed to crack down on contraband after three inmates died earlier this year after overdosing on drugs smuggled into jails.

The department recently introduced airport-style body scanners to search inmates for contraband. The scanners, however, cannot be used on corrections officers because a state administrative rule bans their use on employees.

Prosecutors say the Alfords met with an undercover Miami-Dade police detective posing as someone wanting to introduce contraband into the detention center. The undercover cop gave them cash “for their activities,” according to State Attorney’s Office press release.