Three suspects were identified for smuggling narcotics (methamphetamine) into Cois Byrd Detention Center

It all began in February when the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, Gang Intelligence Unit, and Corrections Central Investigations Unit opened an investigation into inmates and a member of the public smuggling narcotics into the Riverside County Sheriff’s jail system.

During the course of the investigation, members of the Gang Intelligence Unit thwarted and intercepted two smuggling attempts, according to Sgt. Spencer Rustad.

On March 8, the Gang Intelligence Unit and Corrections Central Investigations Unit served a residential search warrant in the city of Yucca Valley with assistance from the Riverside Sheriff’s Alternative Sentencing Program, Corrections K-9 Team, and San Bernadino Sheriff’s Department. The search warrant resulted in the seizure of 18.2g of Methamphetamine and evidence of narcotic sales.

Three arrests were made:

  • Maritza Hernandez, a 43-year-old resident of Yucca Valley, conspiracy and furnishing narcotics to a person in a correctional facility (x2) and narcotic sales.
  • Jose Martinez, a 35-year-old (currently in custody at the Cois Byrd Detention Center), conspiracy and smuggling narcotics into a correctional facility.
  • Richard Carrasco, a 28-year-old (currently in custody at the Cois Byrd Detention Center), conspiracy and smuggling narcotics into a correctional facility.

This investigation was part of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office’s ongoing mission to prevent narcotics from entering our correctional facilities. The diligence of our deputies during searches, implementation of the nonintrusive sensor and scanning device known as the “Tek-84,” and comprehensive criminal investigations such as this are among several measures the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office has taken to combat the supply of narcotics into our jail system. Inmate education is a priority within our jails, and inmates are furnished with educational material and classes about the dangers of narcotics, with an emphasis on fentanyl, provided by the Detention Health Services Division of the Riverside University Health System.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is encouraged to contact Investigator Justin Williams at 951–505–1198 or C. Deputy Philip Diefenderfer at 951–696–3465.

Image Sources

  • Cois M Byrd Detention Center: RSO