The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Detention officer, two others charged


October 14, 2018

CLOVIS — Another detention officer with the Curry County jail has been arrested for conspiring with inmates, this time in connection with a drug trafficking investigation.

Jesse Truong, 38, of Clovis was accused last week of coordinating with an inmate’s girlfriend to bring contraband into the Curry County Adult Detention Center. He was charged Tuesday with two fourth-degree felonies and arrested; officers also charged Cynthia Romero and inmate Aaron Clark with second-degree felony trafficking of a controlled substance, alleging the scheme also involved another inmate smuggling marijuana into the state prison.

Clark, 32, was one of a trio of inmates that escaped Clovis’ jail this summer, allegedly with the help of a female detention officer. Searching his jail pod on Tuesday, investigators found “two envelopes containing methamphetamine,” according to a news release Thursday from Curry County Sheriff Wesley Waller.

One of the envelopes contained a letter “signed $LIMM,” which an investigator recognized as “Aaron Clark’s street name,” according to a criminal complaint.

Romero, 27, of Clovis, whom police identified as “Clark’s girlfriend,” is accused of bringing Truong the contraband in a fast-food bag Oct. 7 outside the jail that afternoon. Security footage shows Truong receive the bag from a woman in a red minivan identified by another detention officer as Romero; he then returns to the jail, “retrieves something from the bag” and a minute later “enters the pod where Aaron Clark is housed...

“Officer J. Truong was not assigned to this pod and additionally this pod requires two detention officers by policy at all times,” says a criminal complaint.

The investigation started Tuesday with a “tip,” records show, and by that afternoon Truong admitted he should not have entered Clark’s pod but denied involvement with a conspiracy, records show.

“(Truong) told me that he had spoken to ‘SIN’ before, which I know to be Cynthia Romero’s street name. He then corrected himself,” says the complaint. “Truong went on to explain that Romero had come up to him, due to thinking he was cute and that they had talked ... (he) said that he does not have anything to do with drugs, and will not bring in anything that he is not supposed to.”

In the news release, Waller said “it is further alleged” that Clark gave some of the contraband provided him to another inmate en route to the Department of Corrections. That inmate was searched on arrival at the prison “and found to be in possession of marijuana.”

Charges were still pending on that inmate as of last week.

All three of the accused were in custody, but none had been assigned an attorney late last week.


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