COPS: County Jail Employees Were Feeding Confidential Information To Fort Lauderdale Bail Bondsman; All Charged With Various Felonies

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According to detectives, Broward Sheriff’s Civilian Inmate Asset Specialists Erika Ragin, 48, [left] and Marie Gary, 54, were providing confidential agency jail inmate information to James Jones [right], the owner of Out On Bail, located in Fort Lauderdale. Both women face unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior, computer crimes, and employee in a jail receiving a benefit of a bond. Jones is facing two counts of bribery and computer crimes.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Two Broward Sheriff’s Office detention employees and a bail bondsman found themselves on the wrong side of the law Wednesday when Broward Sheriff’s Public Corruption Unit (PCU) detectives arrested them on various felony charges.

According to authorities, Wednesday morning, detectives arrested civilian inmate asset specialists Erika Ragin and Marie Gary at the Public Safety Building. Both women face one count each of unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior, offenses against users of computers, computer systems or computer network, and employee in a jail receiving a benefit of a bond.

Investigators arrested James Mitchell Jones Wednesday morning at his home in Oakland Park. Jones is facing two counts each of bribery. Additionally, he is facing, as a principal in the first degree, two counts each of offenses against users of computers, computer systems or computer network and employee in a jail receiving a benefit of a bond.

In February 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation contacted Broward Sheriff’s PCU regarding an anonymous tip claiming a BSO employee was providing confidential agency jail inmate information to James Jones, the owner of Out On Bail, located in Fort Lauderdale. Investigators worked together to identify any employees possibly involved.

Detectives said they utilized various investigative techniques and identified Ragin and Gary as the two employees accessing inmates’ emergency contact information in the Jail Management System database, then provided the information to Jones. Investigators said Jones would then use the information to contact the inmates’ emergency contacts to solicit business for his bail bonds company. In exchange for the confidential information, detectives said Jones would occasionally provide Ragin and Gary compensation in the form of food or small amounts of cash.

“It is unthinkable to me that a pair of trusted public servants would sell out their careers for any reason, let alone a few measly bucks,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said. “The actions of these two employees are truly despicable and are not a reflection on the valiant and commendable work done by the vast majority of BSO employees who serve and protect this community each day.” 

Following Wednesday’s arrest, Ragin’s and Gary’s work status was changed from suspended with pay to suspended without pay.

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