FRESNO, Calif. - A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment Thursday against Ramon Cano, 27, of Bakersfield, charging him with acceptance of a bribe by a federal official and possession with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, in November 2013, a federal inmate at Taft Correctional Institution contacted TCI investigators and told them that Cano, a full time contract correctional officer at TCI, was involved in smuggling heroin and methamphetamine into the prison in return for payments of cash.
According to the criminal complaint, on February 27, 2014, Cano met with an undercover agent in Bakersfield who provided Cano with $4,000 and an ounce of methamphetamine and an ounce of heroin that Cano agreed to smuggle into the federal prison. After the transaction, Cano was arrested as he walked back to his vehicle.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Brian K. Delaney is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Cano faces a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.