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Former Federal Prison Guard Sentenced: Lied About Inappropriate Behavior with Inmates

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Diego Contreras, 31, formerly of Haleiwa, was sentenced to one year in prison on June 1, 2017, and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. Contreras pleaded guilty in federal court to Making False Statements during an investigation into his inappropriate behavior with inmates.

Acting United States Attorney Elliot Enoki said that, according to information presented to the court, on June 1, 2016, the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General interviewed Contreras, who was then employed as a guard with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

DOJ OIG was investigating Contreras for having inappropriate relationships with two female inmates of the Federal Detention Center at Honolulu. Enoki said Contreras lied to investigators, by denying, among other things, that he had contacted the inmates through the use of alias e-mail addresses while they were incarcerated, and by claiming that he had not had contact with one of the inmates after her release from the FDC. One of the relationships was discovered after a photo of Contreras and the former inmate was posted to her Facebook page.

In imposing the sentence, United States District Judge Helen Gillmor pointed to Contreras’ “abuse of power,” and emphasized the importance of sending a message of deterrence by remarking, “[o]ther people in positions of trust need to know that if they violate that trust there will be repercussions.”

This case was investigated by DOJ OIG and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jill Otake.

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