Prison officer convicted for drug trafficking inside prison

By TPN/Lusa, in Crime, North · 20-07-2021 10:47:00 · 0 Comments

A prison officer was sentenced on 19 July to 13 years and six months in prison for being a “drug mule” for three inmates of the Paços de Ferreira jail.

For the panel of judges, chaired by Maria Judite Fonseca, it was proven that the head of prison officers José Coelho “served as a drug courier for defendants Joel Rodrigues, Mário Barros and José oliveira, who, autonomously”, were dedicated to sale of cocaine, hashish, heroin, mobile phones and other illicit goods within the Paços de Ferreira prison, in the Porto district.

For the introduction of “kilos” of narcotic drugs and illegal goods in the prison, the former head of the prison officers, 62 years old and in preventive detention at the Évora Prison, received monetary amounts from these defendants, which it was not possible to determine.

Inside the Paços de Ferreira Prison (EPPF), the main defendants then had the “collaboration and help” of other inmates, also accused in the process, in the sale of narcotics and illicit goods to other inmates.

José Coelho was sentenced to a single sentence of 13 years and six months in jail (the highest sentence) for drug trafficking and for three counts of corruption, Joel Rodrigues was sentenced to 12 years in jail. The court gave 10 years in prison to Mário Barros and the accused José Oliveira was sentenced by the panel of judges to a single sentence of 7 years and six months, while Diamantino Oliveira was sentenced to the lowest sentence of 6 years and three months.

Of the remaining 15 defendants in this criminal network, eight were sentenced to suspended sentences, one of the defendants was sentenced to a fine and six of the defendants were acquitted.

In the “unanimous” deliberation, of almost 600 pages, the panel of judges was particularly critical of the actions of the prison officer at the time.

The facts of being an employee of the prison services, of committing crimes in the workplace and in the exercise of functions, as well as being "the highly qualified drug courier" for each of the three main defendants, served as an aggravating factor in determining the penalty for the former boss Coelho.



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