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Monday, November 2, 2009

A contract employee at the Cook County Jail has been indicted for conspiring with an undercover officer to smuggle marijuana into the jail to deliver to an inmate.

Ivan Garcia, 22, of Huntley, is charged with possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, a felony. He was arrested after an undercover investigation conducted by the sheriff’s internal affairs division, the Office of Professional Review. Garcia works for Aramark, which holds the county contract to provide food services at the Cook County Jail.

OPR investigators received a tip that Garcia had been smuggling marijuana and tobacco into the jail when he came into the facility as Aramark’s supervisor of cooks. He would accept cash payments from a friend or family member of the inmate, then smuggle the contraband inside. He would then deliver the contraband to the inmate while working in the cafeteria.

OPR set up an undercover investigation and on Oct. 16 approached Garcia about conducting a transaction. In a videotaped exchange, Garcia accepted $500 in cash in exchange for smuggling one ounce of marijuana into the Cook County Jail.

After the transaction took place, Garcia was arrested.
Garcia, indicted on Wednesday, is free on $30,000 bond. His next court date is Nov. 18.

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