Former staffer at juvenile detention facility indicted for accepting bribes for smuggling contraband into facility

Defendant took payments for bringing in drugs, iPhones, and tobacco products

Tacoma – A former guard at the Green Hill School, a juvenile rehabilitation facility in Chehalis, Washington, was indicted late Wednesday by a federal grand jury for taking bribes in exchange for delivering contraband, including illegal drugs, into the secure facility.  JULIO W. HAYES, 40, was terminated as a staffer in February 2020 following an FBI operation that uncovered HAYES was accepting bribes and smuggling drugs and other contraband.  HAYES will be arraigned on the indictment on March 16, 2021.

“This illegal conduct at a juvenile facility sends exactly the wrong message to young people trying to rehabilitate,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman.  “This defendant demonstrated that for a price, he would defeat the restrictions at Green Hill School—restrictions that are aimed at maintaining safety, as well as helping youth return to a productive path.  This case should serve as a warning to others tempted to trade their ethics for financial gain.”

According to the indictment, HAYES began working as a guard at Green Hill School in November 2018.  Despite the fact that HAYES had significant training regarding his ethical obligations as an employee of the Department of Children, Youth and Families (which operates Green Hill School), HAYES began accepting bribes from offenders or their family and friends in May 2019 for smuggling marijuana, iPhones, vape pens, and chewing tobacco into the facility.  HAYES was paid in cash and via electronic payments such as Cash App and accepted more than $11,000 before his employment was terminated in February 2020.

The indictment describes various text messages and electronic payments where HAYES essentially took orders from offenders as to the types of contraband they wanted him to bring to the facility.  HAYES and the offenders would set the pricing and payment amounts for his services.  On February 25, 2020, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop on HAYES on his way to work.  In his possession, HAYES had marijuana packaged for smuggling into the facility, as well as three vape cartridges containing liquid marijuana.

HAYES is charged with seven counts of Hobbs Act Extortion Under Color of Official Right, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.  He is also charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.  Those charges are also punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations.  A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Chehalis Police Department and the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team (JNET) in Lewis County.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Justin Arnold and Michael Dio

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