Officer charged in drug investigation at Taft Correctional Institution

TAFT, Calif. - The affidavit shows investigators learned of the alleged smuggling conspiracy after a federal inmate in November informed officials at the Taft Federal Facility and was later passed on to the FBI and the Department of Justice.

A drug smuggling conspiracy led investigators to the Taft Correctional Institution where an inmate says cell phones in addition to several types of illegal narcotics were being brought in by correctional officer, Ramon Cano.

The affidavit obtained by 23ABC shows Cano selling methamphetamine and cocaine, along with syringes to inmates.

Investigators say inmates would arrange to have people outside of the jail meet with Cano to deliver the drugs for an undisclosed amount of money.  23ABC attempted to talk with Cano about the arrest, but loved ones say he was not available.

Investigators with the Taft Correctional Institution say the drug smuggling operation was consistent with a recent increase in the inmates testing positive for meth, heroin and other controlled substances.

The FBI organized an operation using undercover agents who posed as distributors.  Last week, they met with Cano who accepted 28 grams of meth and 28 grams of heroin along with $4,000 in cash.

Cano was arrested after the transaction with agents.

Investigators believe Cano possessed with intent to distribute meth and heroin.

Cano was arrested Thursday, but was released a day later. He is due in court March 14th for a preliminary hearing.


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