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      Juvenile detention employees arrested amid abuse allegations

      Julian Fuentes

      A state led investigation lands three key employees at the Evins Regional Juvenile Center behind bars.

      Jim Hurley, spokesman for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, told Action 4 News an independent investigation was launched by the Inspector General after a complaint was filed last month.

      According to reports, allegations surfaced that Julian Fuentes and Juan Tamez were using excessive force with inmates held at the Evins Regional Juvenile Center located in Edinburg.

      It is also reported that several officers inside the state facility watched and did nothing.

      Two weeks later, more complaints were filed against Fuentes.

      Last month, both Tamez and Fuentes were arrested following evidence gathered by state investigators.

      Last week, the director of security, Pete Martinez, was also arrested for tampering or fabricating physical evidence.

      Seven employees were placed on suspension for knowing about the incident, Hurley said, but did reportedly nothing.

      On Monday, Executive Director Michael Griffiths traveled to Evins to meet with and reaffirm the agency TMs zero tolerance policy and that violators will be dealt with swiftly and severely.

      These allegations are abhorrent and we will pursue all criminal and administrative remedies to the fullest extent, Griffiths said. We have an excellent leadership team and staff at Evins who overall have made great strides to improve the facility culture. I am confident that this is a result of a small number of staff rather than a representation of the entire campus

      The Inspector General said Tuesday the investigation is not over.

      Once the investigation, is completed details regarding the alleged excessive force and tampering with evidence will be released.