LUBBOCK, Texas — 26-year old detention officer, Alsires Betancur, was arrested for possessing prohibited substances inside the Lubbock County Jail Tuesday, becoming the second jail employee to face felony drug charges in just over a month.
His arrest comes just 35 days after 27-year-old detention officer Taylor Millett was charged with felony drug charges for attempting to traffic fentanyl into the jail for an inmate, according to Sheriff Kelly Rowe.
“These are unfortunate times when we see this. We have such high standards for our people,” Rowe said on Sep. 27 regarding Millett’s arrest.
The Sheriff’s Office says these two arrests are not related. Still, they exemplify Sheriff Rowe’s repeated warnings in recent months about the dangers of drugs inside and outside of the jail.
Rowe has said that upwards of “90 percent” of Lubbock County inmates are incarcerated “because they are addicted to something.”
“Your burglaries, robberies, thefts, fraud… these individuals are addicted, and these are the crimes they are committing to support that habit,” he said.
Rowe pointed to programs and personnel specifically tasked with addressing addiction and mental illness among inmates, such as 24-hour medical staff and partnerships with the specialty healthcare service StarCare.
“We are as well positioned than any jail in Texas to deal with these problems,” he said.
Millett has been out of jail on bond. Betancur’s bond has not yet been released. The Sheriff’s Office says they intend to pursue the full extent of charges against their former officers.
“We hold these guys to a high standard. when one crosses that line, we’re gonna be right there to address it,” he said.
The jail intends to provide an update regarding Betancur’s charges on Wednesday afternoon.