Bonding agent charged

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 1, 2015



A bonding agent working for a local company is now in jail for allegedly bribing an inmate to drive business her way.
Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said the investigation began when Det. Brandon Carr learned that 53-year-old Gloria Alford of 37 Floren Lee Rd., Lumberton, had provided money to an inmate’s account in exchange for referrals for business within the county jail’s population.
Tucker said state laws prohibits an inmate from receiving items of value from a bonding agent.
The most important reason why a bonding agent is prohibited from giving things of value to an inmate is safety, Tucker said. When an inmate is tasked with steering business to a specific bonding agent intimidation is often employed to ensure inmates attempting to bond out call the agent of choice. Tucker said this can create an environment within the jail where fights break out and property is stolen. If a fight breaks out within in the jail, corrections officers are put into harms way when they are forced to enter that cellblock and get the situation under control, Tucker said.
“It’s important for us to stop this because we want to make our staff as safe as we can,” Tucker said.
After the investigation provided enough evidence to substantiate an arrest, Alford was picked up and charged on Thursday with prohibited activities pertaining to illegal business referrals and conspiracy to commit prohibited activities pertaining to illegal business referrals, both of which are felony charges, Tucker said. She was given a $5,000 bond for each charge.
Tucker said Alford was working for All Out Bonding at the time of her arrest.
Charges against the as yet unnamed inmate are pending, Tucker said.
“We can’t tolerate that conduct at our facility,” Tucker said.

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