Prison Officer Arrested, Bulldog Gang, Drug Connections

July 24, 2009 7:19:22 PM PDT
A correctional officer has been arrested for selling the drug PCP. Authorities are looking at whether she smuggled drugs to inmates at a substance abuse facility in Corcoran.The arrests came after a three week investigation into drug sales at the correctional officers Fresno home. I caught up with the officer and she would only tell me she is not guilty of anything.

Argelia Tovar was not very informative when we questioned her about the investigation at her Central Fresno home Friday.

The Corcoran correctional officer is now on administrative leave after Fresno Police officers recovered five grams of PCP in solid form, some liquid PCP and a dozen PCP laced cigarettes inside her residence.

Investigators say some of the drugs were concealed in Tovar's closet and in her children's bedroom.

Cynthia Valdez with the Fresno Police Department said, "Officers found the narcotics inside the bedroom of the children who live there, inside a nightstand."

Police raided Tovar's home Wednesday along with another home on West Thomas Avenue. Investigators believe Tovar and her brother, Jesus Hernandez are involved in selling the illegal narcotic out of both locations. The home on West Thomas Avenue is well known for gang and drug activity. In 2006, Fresno Police held a press conference at that same home.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said, "Inside the residence we found marijuana, which was packaged for sale. One of the residents we found was in violation against the injunction we had put out against the Parkside Bulldogs."

Hernandez was already on probation and is a well known Bulldog gang member. Tovar has no prior criminal history but will now also face charges of felony child endangerment.

"The ages of the kids who live in the house are 4, 5 and 10 and they are all in the care of CPS," said Valdez.

Tovar works at the substance abuse treatment facility next door to Corcoran State Prison. Action News has learned prison officials are now looking into whether she may have provided drugs to inmates. Officials at the prison issued a statement saying, "Argelia Tovar is an employee here, however she is on administrative time off pending further investigation."

Tovar and Hernandez were arrested and booked into jail, but bailed out a day later.

They are set to be arraigned in August.

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