California Prison Guard Charged With Smuggling

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A California prison guard was charged with taking thousands of dollars in bribes to smuggle contraband, including a jeweled dental “grill" for an inmate, federal prosecutors said Monday.

In 2020 Benito Jamar Hugie, a corrections officer at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility near San Diego, allegedly smuggled the jeweled tooth covering to an inmate, Shawn Brown, who had custom ordered it from a Houston Texas jeweler using a smuggled cellphone, the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement.

Brown and his two brothers are accused of helping provide more than $5,000 in bribes to Hugie.

It wasn't immediately known if any of the men had attorneys who could speak for them.

A separate indictment charges Brown and six others with stealing nearly $700,000 in unemployment benefits intended to help people during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. attorney's office said.

The imprisoned Brown and the others were accused of using stolen identities to make phony claims with the state's Employment Development Department and receiving money intended for people who were unable to pay for food and housing, the U.S. attorney's office said.