Accused Federal Jail Guard Released on Bond

Matthew Gutierrez works at the Metropolitan Correctional Center

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    NEWSLETTERS

    He is accused of buying a half pound of cocaine.

    Matthew Gutierrez, a prison guard at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, is accused of trying to buy thousands of dollars worth of cocaine.

    A Magistrate Judge said Tuesday that Gutierrez, who has been in custody since his arrest Sept. 7, is not a flight risk and should be released from custody.

    Gutierrez was arrested at a storage facility, accused of buying $5,000 worth of cocaine, which investigators say he was going to re-sell. 

    Prison Guard Accused of Buying Drugs

    [DGO] Prison Guard Accused of Buying Drugs
    He is accused of buying a half pound of cocaine.

    Gutierrez befriended an inmate at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, who put him in touch with a drug dealer, police said. The drug dealer was an informant working with the FBI.

    Gutierrez drove with the informant to a Mission Valley Starbucks, according to a criminal complaint. On the drive, Gutierrez allegedly told him he was going to school in order to become "a crooked cop."

    The complaint also said Gutierrez admitted that he let inmates at the Metropolitan Correctional Center use his cell phone to make personal calls and traffic drugs.

    Gutierrez' family said he moved back in with his parents in Chula Vista after his wife left him three weeks ago and that things were not going well.

    The suspect’s attorney, Howard Frank, said that his client was, "doing as well as anyone in his position" and that Gutierrez was "very concerned."

    At a hearing Tuesday morning, the defense and prosecuting attorneys said they agreed that Gutierrez could be freed on $75,000 bond, backed by property owned by his parents, with whom he was living when he was arrested.

    Magistrate Nita Stormes indicated she will approve the proposed bond, and asked the attorneys to work out the specifics during a court recess.

    The defendant's parents, wife and sister were in court to show their support. Gutierrez must live with his parents and submit to drug testing while awaiting trial or plea bargain in this case.

    Gutierrez's lawyer says Gutierrez has resigned his job with the federal prison system.

    Before working as a guard in Arizona and San Diego, Gutierrez served eight years in the National Guard.

    The prosecutor says Gutierrez would probably spend up to four years in federal prison if convicted.