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Guard charged with smuggling meth into jail to be released on bond

By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER

The Associated Press

HONOLULU — A Hawaii prison guard charged with smuggling meth and other contraband into Oahu Community Correctional Center will be released on bond, a federal judge said Wednesday.

Prosecutors wanted Jon Estabilio Jr. held without bail. Estabilio, 45, participated in a hearing Wednesday via telephone from the Honolulu Federal Detention Center. U.S. Magistrate Judge Wes Reber Porter ordered he be released on $50,000 bond.

Officials at Oahu Community Correctional Center searched Estabilio after monitoring prison calls between an inmate and someone else suggesting he was smuggling contraband, prosecutors said. Several packs of cigarettes, lighters, tattoo kits, and 16 small plastic bags containing methamphetamine were found on Estabilio, prosecutors said.

As an adult corrections officer for five years, Estabilio abused his position of authority to smuggle drugs, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Van Demark. Estabilio was working with at least one other person outside the jail, Van Demark said.

The allegations carry a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison if he’s convicted, Van Demark said.

Attorney Catherine Gutierrez argued for Estabilio’s release. He is a lifelong Hawaii resident and doesn’t have a passport, she said.

“We are unable to comment further during the ongoing investigations, mindful that individuals are presumed innocent until adjudicated otherwise,” said Toni Schwartz, spokeswoman for the Hawaii Department of Public Safety. “We can tell you the Department works hard to monitor and eliminate contraband pathways.”