BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – An Idaho Springs man has been sentenced to eight years behind bars after pleading guilty to four felonies, including tampering with his own jail food.
Ray Wolfe, 37, reached a plea agreement with Summit County prosecutors, as a three-day jury trial was slated to begin to determine how a hair got in Wolfe’s beef stroganoff.
In an interview from jail, Wolfe told CBS4 he “assumed someone was messing with him” when he claimed to find a hair in his jail food on Jan. 28.
Wolfe’s complaint led to a full investigation by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. In audio recordings obtained by CBS4, the sheriff’s office questioned the kitchen staff, asking each person working that day whether they put hair in Wolfe’s tray.
Investigators then pulled surveillance video, monitoring the kitchen staff, the inmates distributing the food and finally of Wolfe receiving his tray. In what turned out to be the crucial piece of evidence, investigators say surveillance video proved Wolfe tampered with his own tray.
“As seen in the reflection in the windows, Wolfe stands at the drinking fountain with his tray for approximately eight seconds,” according to Sgt. Ron Hochmuth’s incident report. “During this time Wolfe can be seen making small movements with his arms and hands. It is with these movements and during this time I believe Wolfe placed the hair found on top of the food in his meal tray.”
“Anyone entering a jailhouse deserves proper care, including safe food,” District Attorney Bruce Brown told CBS4 in a written statement. “In Summit County any person serving time is treated with dignity, respect and quality care. Making up stories about conditions being less than proper is offensive to the hard work the deputies do every day.”
In Tuesday’s plea agreement, Wolfe avoided a potential 24-year sentence, which included three felonies for making up the story about the hair in his food. Instead, Wolfe was sentenced to eight years, combining this case and several unrelated cases, which include an assault on his ex-girlfriend and other crimes committed while in jail.
“Our goal is to keep Mr. Wolfe off the streets and in a high security facility where he cannot continue to menace others,” Brown said.