MIAMI-DADE, FL – The Miami-Dade Police Department, Professional Compliance Bureau, Public Corruption Section in conjunction with the Organized Crime Bureau, Narcotics Section arrested an individual for introduction of contraband into a correctional facility.
According to investigators, a tip was received that Junell Raquel Bess, a part-time Financial Specialist with Jackson Memorial Hospital who reported for work at the Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation, Metro West Detention Center, had been introducing narcotics into the correctional facility for an inmate’s personal use and to sell to other inmates. The ongoing investigation revealed this illicit activity was taking place, and in addition, she was being compensated financially for the introduction. The subject was located, arrested and charged accordingly.
“This individual was employed by a temporary staffing agency and assigned to the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department, Metro West Facility,” said Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez. “It is the responsibility of our Public Corruptions Unit to thoroughly investigate every allegation of inappropriate behavior by any employee assigned to a Miami-Dade County facility to ensure the utmost professionalism and adherence to the core values of Miami-Dade County.”
“Every employee of the Miami-Dade Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, even a recently employed temporary employee like Junell Bess, is expected to uphold the department’s goals of providing a safe and secure environment for individuals held in custody. By allegedly sneaking drugs into the jail system for personal profit, Ms. Bess displayed a level of criminality equal to those individuals serving out their sentences,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “We all recognize that the unpredictable behavior of drugged inmates poses an immediate danger to correctional staff as well as to other inmates residing in the jail. Such alleged actions cannot and will not be tolerated. I applaud the work of the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Professional Compliance Bureau and my Public Corruption prosecutors in ending the short career span of this individual.”
“The ability for us to police ourselves and hold one another accountable is paramount in assuring the safety of our staff, our community, and the inmate population,” said Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department Director James Reyes. “We will continue to exhaust all of the necessary resources and leverage our partnerships with other Miami-Dade County public safety stakeholders in order to assure we are operating safe and secure jails.”
The investigation continues.