Offender sneaks gun into jail in his underwear
A gun is smuggled into the Webb County Jail, in the underwear of an offender.
He was arrested by Laredo police and somehow the gun went undetected.
Authorities are now looking into how officers could have missed the weapon.
An off duty security officer caught speeding in south Laredo lands in jail, but not before trying to bring his gun with him.
Now Laredo police are explaining how it all happened and sheriff's officials say they're sure it could happen again.
“Police officers are human beings. By nature human beings are fallible.”
It’s how police say 20-year-old Alfonso Ruiz junior managed to sneak a gun past officers and into the Webb County jail.
Authorities say the off duty security officer was arrested for speeding in south Laredo, clocking in at over 100 miles an hour in a 45 zone.
He was in full uniform but his gun was missing.
“They directly asked him where the weapon was. He denied anything, and as per procedure officers gave him a pat down,” says Joe Baeza.
He was taken to jail, where sheriff's deputies later realized officers had missed something.
Ruiz was hiding the gun in his underwear.
The sheriff's department did not fault anyone for the error, but do say officers were put in a serious situation.
“Once a weapon gets into a correctional facility that we don’t know about anything could happen. The safety of the officers surely is in peril,” says Chief Federico Garza.
A sheriff's department official says it's not the first time an inmate has smuggled in a weapon into this jail. In the past 25 years, three guns have been found inside.
“There's no doubt that this happens. Iit won't be the first or the last like I said, but it's up to us as administrators to prepare or implement security plans to prevent this from happening.”
Laredo police say the department is not downplaying the potentially deadly incident and will fully investigate officer procedures.
“We're grateful that nothing did happen but we're not going to take any chances with the security of our officers out on the field or within our department or any other division.”
Officials with the Webb County Sheriff's department say a more intensive intake procedure at the jail was implemented last year.
They say without it, it's possible the weapon could have made it even further into the jail.
As for Ruiz, he will face charges of reckless driving, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of an illegal item in a correctional facility.
He told police he worked for Tenorio security.
Police say he was not licensed to carry a gun.
We tried contacting Tenorio security and their phone lines were busy all afternoon.
And according to the Texas Department of Public Safety website, the company's insurance is suspended.
Ruiz is also not listed as a current or previous employee with the company.