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Ex-BCSO jailer pleads guilty to meth smuggling conspiracy

Gabriel Ortiz pleads guilty to role in smuggling drugs into county jail

SAN ANTONIO – A fired Bexar County Sheriff’s deputy admitted Tuesday to taking part in a conspiracy this summer to smuggle drugs into the county jail. 

Gabriel Ortiz was arrested in late July as part of a four-count indictment claiming he possessed methamphetamine and attempted to possess methamphetamine as part of a drug smuggling conspiracy inside the Bexar County Jail.

Ortiz pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon before a federal magistrate judge to a single count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it.

"(I) never intended to embarrass my family or my children, that's my number one priority," Ortiz said.

He faces up to 20 years in prison at his sentencing next February.

The judge said Tuesday that Ortiz will likely get a sentence at the lower end of federal guidelines because he accepted responsibility.

"Certainly, the judge has the full range of punishment, and obviously we are going to be asking for the lower end of the punishment based on who he is as a person," said Adam Cortez, Ortiz's defense attorney.

His co-conspirator, fired jailer Ruben Hernandez, has until Dec. 21 to accept a plea deal. If he does not, his trial is scheduled for early January 2019.


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