Case study - joint investigation stifles prison officer groomed by organised crime groups

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21 November 2016

On 22 January 2016, prison officers seized a mobile telephone from a prisoner during a search. The device was analysed and investigators identified a number of telephone calls to the prisoner's de facto spouse and an associate.

The calls revealed an attempt to arrange a meeting between those individuals and an unidentified person on 7 January 2016. On the same day the prison officer concerned received a text message from one of the individuals. A number of investigative strategies were employed throughout this investigation which uncovered evidence that the prison officer may have engaged in serious misconduct. In May 2016, the prison officer was arrested and search warrants were executed on his vehicle and home.

The prison officer made admissions of:

• previously engaging in corruption by smuggling contraband into prison

• unlawfully accessing a work computer and divulging information on more than one occasion

• bringing drugs into the prison on numerous occasions and supplying them to prisoners connected to serious and organised crime groups

• possessing illegal reptiles and steroids at his home address.

The prison officer has since resigned after being charged by WA Police. This case demonstrates how an intelligence-led, multi-agency investigation can effectively target serious misconduct involving corruption and criminal offences.