I-Team: New details emerge in prison 'smuggling' case

LAS VEGAS -- The investigation into how a cell phone was smuggled to an accused killer in prison is widening. The I-Team first broke the story when the three women were charged in the plot to bribe a prison guard.

It is now known there were more people on the outside -- and within the prison walls -- who took part in the alleged smuggling scene. The I-Team has also learned that the prison guard suspected of taking a bribe is no longer working in the corrections department. He was allegedly paid to smuggle two cell phones into High Desert State Prison.

Olga Gonzalez was one of three woman who appeared before a judge last Thursday. She was charged with bribing a prison guard to smuggle two cell phones into the prison. One of the phones ended up in the cell of accused Las Vegas Strip shooter Ammar Harris.

New information obtained by the 8 News NOW I-Team indicates Gonzalez was the alleged point woman for the plot. She's suspected of meeting with a compromised prison guard in the parking lot of a shopping center near Aliante Parkway and the 215 Beltway.  It was there she allegedly turned over $850 cash and two cell phones to the corrections officer. The I-Team has learned investigators suspect the money came from accused Las Vegas Strip shooter Ammar Harris who allegedly provided $2,000 to a woman outside the prison. That money is believed to have been funneled -- in steps -- through the other suspects in this case. Investigators believe some of the money was used to buy the cell phones and most of the rest used to bribe the guard.

While Gonzalez met with the allegedly corrupted guard, the other women charged in the plot, Charmaine Simmons and Reann Gadson, are accused of purchasing the phones and moving the cash around. Charmaine Simmons has a son in the prison. A cell phone was also found in his cell. Investigators suspect Gonzalez may have met with the compromised guard on several occasions -- smuggling other contraband --and at least one other cell phone into the prison.

The I-Team has learned the guard suspected of taking the bribes is no longer employed by the Nevada Department of Corrections. It is not known if he was fired or resigned. It is also not clear if he's been charged yet because his name has not been released. The Department of Corrections and the Attorney General's office, which is prosecuting this case, won't make any comment.

At this point, three woman have already been charged and a fourth is being eyed for her involvement with Harris. Three inmates, including Harris, are suspected of playing a role in the scheme and at least one former prison is guard under investigation for bribery.

Numerous charges are still pending as the investigation widens.


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