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East Texas jailer accused of stealing cash from inmates

State & Regional

This photo provided by Liberty County, Texas sheriff’s office shows Mayra Gallegos-Balderas. The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office says Gallegos-Balderas was arrested Tuesday, July 16, 2019 on a theft of property warrant and freed on a personal recognizance bond. Gallegos-Balderas worked for GEO Group, which operates the Liberty County jail, 40 miles (64.37 kilometers) northeast of Houston. (Liberty County, Texas sheriff’s office via AP)

LIBERTY, Texas (AP) — An East Texas jailer has been charged with stealing hundreds of dollars from inmates who surrendered the cash when booked.

The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office says 23-year-old Mayra Gallegos-Balderas was arrested Tuesday on a theft of property warrant and freed on a personal recognizance bond.

Gallegos-Balderas worked for GEO Group, which operates the Liberty County jail, 40 miles (64 kilometers) northeast of Houston. The charge is a state felony because Gallegos-Balderas was a public servant.

Three people released from jail reported that some or all of the cash they had, documented during booking, wasn’t returned. Capt. Ken DeFoor says Gallegos-Balderas allegedly stole nearly $1,500.

Online jail records didn’t list an attorney representing Gallegos-Balderas, identified by DeFoor as a now-former correctional officer.

The GEO Group didn’t immediately return a message Saturday.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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