Two corrections officers at Territorial Correctional Facility in American Samoa were arrested for letting inmates leave unsupervised to go on beer and food runs.
The officers, Fiti Aina and Rocky Tua, were charged this week with aiding the escape of a prisoner, permitting escape, and pucliv servant acceding to corruption, reports AZ Central.
The scandal began after a police search at American Samoa’s only jail turned up beer in an inmate’s cell. While they were investigating how the beer got there, Police learned that the officers were allowing inmates out on unsupervised trips to a nearby store for food and beer.
One inmate at the jail told investigators that he bought beer for another inmate during one of his trips, and also purchased chips and cookies for Officer Tua.
The Washington Post notes that the inmates that Tua and Aina allegedly let out on beer runs aren’t small-time offenders (they did not receive a DUI, possession of a narcotic, etc). Instead, one of the inmates the two corrections officers allegedly let leave is serving 40 months after he assaulted another man with a machete.
While the allegation is not as serious, a corrections officer in Huntsville, Texas was fired after he friended an inmate on Facebook. The officer was not charged with crimes, but fired because the move went against their policy and also resulted in a possible security breach. The officer has since been reinstated after he argued that he didn’t know the man was incarcerated.
Fiti Aina and Rocky Tua, the officers who allegedly allowed inmates out on beer runs, are each being held on $10,000 bail while investigators continue to look into the allegations.