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Drugs being sneaked into CMC

A woman hid narcotics in her body just before entering the California Men’s Colony near San Luis Obispo to meet an inmate during visiting hours, a report by the county Sheriff’s Department alleges.

Guadalupe Ruiz, a teacher from Los Angeles, admitted to investigators that she was concealing the drugs after she was stopped at the prison during a law enforcement surveillance of her activities on May 17, according to the report.

Ruiz was one of 21 people arrested in June on suspicion of drug trafficking and plans to smuggle narcotics into the prison.

Authorities called the sting “Operation Broken Badge” because some employees of the local prison were allegedly involved.

After pulling her vehicle into the prison parking lot during a visit in May, a Sheriff’s Department narcotics investigator asked Ruiz if she had narcotics and marijuana concealed inside her vagina, and she initially denied it, according to the report.

Detectives had obtained a search warrant for her car and threatened to obtain a second search warrant to conduct a body cavity examination.

“After a short period, Guadalupe Ruiz admitted she did have narcotics and marijuana secreted inside her vagina,” the report states. “The narcotics and marijuana were recovered and later sent to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab.”

The suspects are accused of bringing methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana from Mexico to sell to a network of customers, including CMC inmates.

The report states that confidential informants tipped authorities to ongoing drug sales and drug use happening within the prison.

They said that a female visitor was smuggling the drugs in during visiting hours. Most described her appearance, but one identified her.

Ruiz has pleaded not guilty to charges relating to trafficking drugs into the prison for sale.

Ruiz’s attorney Tom McCormick denied the allegations Friday and said she was in love with CMC inmate Melvin Farmer, who is identified in the report as someone who was involved in a drug ring, according to confidential informants. Farmer was not arrested in the bust, however.

“Guadalupe Ruiz has no prior criminal record whatsoever,” McCormick said. “She met a gentleman who was in the prison, and she was in love with that gentleman.”

According to the report, Ruiz was collaborating with Jose Holguin of Paso Robles and inmate Ramiro Valdez, who were also arrested in the sting.

Before Ruiz drove to CMC, investigators said they observed her meeting with Holguin in front of the Jack in the Box restaurant on Santa Rosa Street in San Luis Obispo.

“Holguin was carrying a white paper bag in his left hand,” the report states. “Holguin placed the white bag through the open driver’s side window and handed the bag to Guadalupe Ruiz. Holguin spoke with Ruiz for a short period of time and then walked back to the driver’s side of the vehicle.”

Investigators had wiretapped the phones of Ruiz, Holguin and Valdez, who placed calls from inside the prison, to follow their conversations about the alleged drug deal.

According to the conversations recorded in the wiretap, Jose Holguin called a woman named Tobey Holguin asking her to get rid of “balloons” at his home by flushing them down the toilet after Ruiz was arrested. It’s not clear what was in the so-called balloons.

Tobey Holguin was initially arrested with the others in June, but Judge Hugh Mullin ruled in San Luis Obispo Superior Court to dismiss charges against her.

The report notes that Valdez is a founding member of the Paso Robles 13 criminal street gang and that Jose Holguin was in frequent communication with him.

Jose Holguin and Valdez have denied the allegations against them. Their attorneys couldn’t be reached for comment.

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