Report: County inmates accidentally left in transport van

Reports released by Cameron County confirmed that two inmates were accidentally left in a van in March and were transported to the hospital after guards realized what happened.

The inmate incident reports were filed on March 11 and 12. A transport officer who drove the van completed both summaries in reference to the incident.

Captain Javier Reyna of the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office said on Monday that an employee received disciplinary suspension and another employee is no longer employed with the department in relation to the incident.

“On March 11, 2020 two inmates were accidentally left inside the transport van as it arrived at the CRDC.  Once discovered, the inmates were immediately evaluated by our medical staff.  Out of an abundance of caution, both inmates were transported to the hospital for further evaluation and medical clearance,” said Reyna.

A first report filed on March 11 stated that two transport jailers left the Old County Jail with 12 inmates at approximately 11:30 a.m. on March 11, arriving at Carrizales 15 minutes later.

Upon arrival at the detention center, the transport jailer secured his weapon and “continued to unload property and court papers from the van,” he wrote.

A second transport officer unloaded the inmates. Staff later realized that two inmates were left in the side compartment of the van. Weather reports from March 11 stated the day saw a high of 90 degrees.

A deputy “escorted inmates to medical for evaluation,” the jailer wrote, adding that the chain of command was notified.

Under a section titled “Lieutenants Action Taken” indicated that “both inmates were sent to the hospital following their discovery.”

In a report filed March 12, the same officer wrote that after arriving at the Carrizales sally port area, he secured his weapon in a lock box and started to unload inmates from the rear of the van, escorting inmates to the transport sally port doors.

“When doors opened I escorted inmates into the transport area and started to unshackle inmates, once inmates were all unshackled I escorted some inmates to designated cells,” the officer wrote.

But once the jailer arrived back at the transport office, he was advised by a deputy that there was an unknown inmate that “had accidentally stayed in the van on the side compartment.”

The transport jailer stated that he was unaware of the incident until the deputy told him what happened and did not receive any status updates on the inmate.

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com