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Former officer charged with smuggling drugs into prison

September 2, 2021 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A former employee of the North Dakota State Penitentiary has been accused of smuggling drugs and electronics into the prison for an inmate in exchange for money.

Investigators say Matthew Taylor was working as a correctional officer last year when he received payments from a woman to deliver a cellphone, two SIM cards and a cigarette package to an inmate who later tested positive for methamphetamine.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol began an investigation in November when Taylor’s employment ended at the prison.

According to officials, the woman provided investigators with text messages between her and the inmate, Joshua Gomez, that outlined the payment process for meth. MoneyGram records obtained by the patrol showed Taylor received payments of $240 and $660, according to an affidavit, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

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Taylor is facing two felony charges. Gomez is charged with possession of a controlled substance by an inmate and possession of an electronic device by an inmate. Gomez has been moved to the James River Corrections Center, according to the state Department of Corrections.

Court records do not list an attorney for Taylor or any charges against the woman.