Stockton - Today, District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar announced that on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, Robert Ayala, age 32, and a former Correctional Officer at Deuel Vocational Institute (DVI) pleaded no contest to one count of felony bribery, Penal Code §68.
"No one is above the law, and those who commit crime will be prosecuted," said District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. "We greatly appreciate the internal investigation conducted by DVI and for sending this case to the District Attorney's Office to be charged. When law enforcement is willing to police one of their own, the public can trust them to police their communities."
According to an inmate at DVI, he was approached by CDC Officer Robert Ayala for a $25,000 loan, as the inmate had recently received a large monetary settlement. To this end, the defendant offered to bring him several pounds of marijuana in prison. The defendant also asked the inmate to make a financial investment in a marijuana cultivation business. Finally, the defendant discussed selling K9's to law enforcement. To encourage the transaction, the defendant smuggled in several books for the inmate's use as well as a cell phone so that they could communicate.
When interviewed, the correctional officer made admissions that he was supposed to receive a $300,000 bribe from the inmate and confirmed that he had in fact purchased two cell phones to facilitate communication between the inmate and himself. He also admitted to giving the books to the inmate.
The defendant has been sentenced by the Honorable Richard Guiliani. He received 5 years formal probation and will serve 4 months in county jail. He has been terminated from his position with DVI. Thank you to Deputy District Attorney Raoul Haeck who handled this plea.