By Linda Kor
A former Department of Corrections officer assigned to the Arizona State Prison Complex in Winslow has been charged with extorting money from an inmate and his family, according to state officials.
According to DOC investigators, Jordan Martie, 22, of Winslow was employed as a Corrections Officer II when he and an inmate allegedly worked together in a scheme to extort $900 from another inmate.
Martie, who had been employed by DOC since February and has since resigned, and the suspect inmate allegedly developed a scheme in which the inmate threatened a fellow inmate at ASPC-Winslow, demanding the money for protection. Martie then offered his personal protection to the inmate victim in exchange for $900 to be paid by the victim’s family.
Martie allegedly established contact with a family member of the victim, told that person that the victim’s safety and well being depended on Martie obtaining the money, and gave instructions on how to make the payment.
The family member made a partial payment and then contacted the DOC’s Criminal Investigations Unit at the Winslow facility regarding what had transpired.
Martie has been booked into the Navajo County Jail, and is charged with fraudulent schemes and artifices, attempted fraudulent schemes and artifices, and two counts of theft by extortion in connection with the incident.
The inmate who was allegedly involved in the extortion scheme is facing similar charges.
The Winslow prison was also in the spotlight in June, when a female detention officer was brutally beaten by two male inmates while she was transporting a group of 50 unshackled inmates by herself from one location to another at the facility.
The DOC recently asked the state for $18 million in order to hire 296 additional correctional officers at 11 facilities throughout the state, including Winslow. Officials say that without the extra money, the officers and the inmates they oversee are in danger.
The state’s prison system is also under fire by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed a lawsuit against the DOC alleging that the health care being provided for the inmates at the state’s facilities is grossly inadequate and fails to address the needs of seriously ill patients. That litigation is still pending.
By Linda Kor