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U.S. Marshals Service: 2 former guards at Willacy County prison charged with bribery

The Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force arrested two guards at the Willacy County Regional Detention Center on Friday. (File Photo)

The Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force arrested former two guards at the Willacy County Regional Detention Center on Friday.

The task force arrested 22-year-old Stephan Salinas and 29-year-old Harry Cordero, who worked at the Willacy County Regional Detention Center -- a private prison in Raymondville operated by Utah-based Management and Training Corp. -- according to a news release from the U.S. Marshals Service.

Cordero accepted bribes to allow alcohol and a cell phone to enter the prison during December 2015, according to the indictment against him.

Management and Training Corp. fired Cordero and Salinas in January, according to a statement released by the company.

"As soon as we concluded our internal investigation of these two individuals, we immediately notified the U.S. Marshals Service and worked cooperatively with them," according to the statement.

Management and Training Corp. monitors everyone who enters and exits the detention center and conducts random searches, according to the statement.

"All employees go through a scanner upon entry to the facility, random pat searches are conducted, personal bags go through an x-ray scanner and are physically searched, and all containers brought into the facility must be transparent," according to the statement.

A three-count indictment unsealed on Friday charges Cordero with two counts of bribery and one count of providing contraband in prison.

Bribery is punishable by a maximum 10 years in prison, according to federal court records. Providing contraband in prison is punishable by a maximum one year in prison.

Details about the charges against Salinas weren’t immediately available.

Both men remain in federal custody and couldn’t be reached for comment Saturday.

Updated with comment from Management and Training Corp.

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