By Brian Maass and Lindsey Schwartz
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– An inmate at the Jefferson County Jail smuggled a smartphone into his jail cell Thursday and broadcast live on Facebook, triggering a criminal investigation by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
A CBS4 investigation uncovered video of the 1½ minute broadcast by inmate Joseph Chavez.
“I’m in motherf***ing Jeffco, see Jefferson County live on Facebook… where they do that at,” says Chavez, 22, during his profanity laden live stream.
Inmates are strictly prohibited from having any kinds of phones in their cells, along with cigarettes and lighters, which Chavez also displayed during the Facebook broadcast. Such items are considered contraband.
“So when I get out yup, I got this on my f***ing Facebook, yeah I did that”, says Chavez.
Another inmate can be seen lying on a bed in the cell as Chavez proceeds with his live stream. At one point Chavez turns the camera so viewers can see a common area outside his cell.
Jenny Fulton, a spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office, told CBS4 the agency learned about the broadcast from citizens who saw it live on Facebook and alerted the department.
“We don’t want our inmates on Facebook live from their cells,” said Fulton.
She said the department is in the early stages of a criminal investigation but believe they have a general idea of what happened.
Chavez was brought into the jail Thursday from the Colorado Department of Corrections where he is serving a prison sentence. He has an appearance in Jefferson County Monday on another case.
Fulton says that Chavez was “strip searched” when he came in and no phone was found. Jailers believe Chavez, who has a lengthy criminal record, stole the phone, lighter and cigarette from another inmate’s personal property bag during the booking process. He then somehow smuggled the items into his cell.
Fulton says the investigation will attempt to determine, “how this could have happened and we will implement new procedures to make sure it does not happen again.”
She said investigators are reviewing internal surveillance videotapes to determine precisely what occurred. She says Jefferson County Jail employees are not suspected of any involvement in what happened.
At one point on the live Facebook broadcast Chavez implores a friend, ”Sierra, write me, you better write me…”
He also boasts that “I’ll be back on the block in like, three years.”
But Fulton says the Facebook live episode could lead to additional theft and contraband charges for Chavez that could alter his prediction.