On May 31, Fort Collins Police Services announced that Officer Valeri Pedraza had been placed on administrative leave following two busts in the preceding two days — the first on a domestic-violence charge, the second for allegedly violating a protection order. On June 1, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office revealed that one of its own had been fitted for cuffs: Deputy Carley Jackson, who faces five criminal counts, including bribery and official misconduct. She’s accused of giving a lighter to an inmate in the hopes that he wouldn’t tell authorities about flirtatious note-passing between them. Turns out that she already had a significant other — a different prisoner she’d met in jail.
A Dougco sheriff’s office release, which notes that Jackson “is no longer employed with the Sheriff’s Office,” provides the basics. On May 25, “information was obtained that alleged a deputy had introduced contraband” into the Douglas County Detention Facility. An investigation was launched, and at 7:15 p.m. on May 31, Jackson, 24, was booked into the same jail on two felonies (bribery and attempt to influence a public servant) and three misdemeanors (first-degree official misconduct, conspiracy and introducing contraband in the second degree).
Jackson was released from the detention facility after posting $10,000 in bail. She made a brief court appearance on June 1 and is due back on June 30.
In sharing Jackson’s charging documents, the DCSO stressed that “no other information is being released at this time.” However, 9News procured her arrest affidavit, which reveals that a March 11 search of a housing unit at the jail turned up a slew of prohibited items — but Jackson is said to have omitted mention of a disposable lighter that was part of the collected bounty. Then, on May 23, an inmate told authorities that Jackson had given him the lighter when he’d threatened to squeal about notes the two of them had exchanged.
According to the affidavit, under questioning by investigators, Jackson claimed that she’d rejected the inmate’s romantic overtures by saying she was committed to a boyfriend named Bryan, who was also incarcerated — though she insisted that she’d met him before he wound up behind bars. But detectives subsequently accessed recorded phone calls between Jackson and Bryan dating back to last September. During the conversations, Jackson reportedly admitted that she actually met Bryan when he was being booked into the Douglas County Detention Facility and had some alone time with him in one of the housing unit’s closets.
Jail contraband has been a hot topic of late. On May 27, the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force and the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office revealed the arrests of twelve people in what was described as “a drug trafficking organization that was introducing and distributing narcotics to inmates in the jail.” But the arrestees were either inmates or individuals accused of sending drugs through the mail, not members of law enforcement.
The arrests of Pedraza and Jackson followed a seven-week period in which four other Colorado law enforcement officials were arrested in separate cases. Between March 18 and May 4, former Weld County Sheriff’s Deputy John Maedel, ex-Teller County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Bisset, and Colorado Springs Police officers Shane Reed and Stephanie Landreneau were arrested and charged with crimes ranging from second-degree kidnapping to stalking and harassment.
And the parade of bad Colorado cops marches on.