ALBUQUERQUE, N.M (KRQE) – An Metropolitan Detention Center jail guard is under arrest for lying about an inmate under her control. It turns out, that inmate is her cousin.
Nicole Baca, 32, has been a corrections officer for 14 years. She was hired back in 2003, but on Friday, Baca found herself on the wrong side of the bars.
Last month, a sergeant from the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office was sent to MDC to investigate an incident involving inmate Andrew Griego for breaking a window in a fit of rage.
According to a criminal complaint, the corrections officer supervising Griego that day was in fact, Baca.
Griego has been in-and-out of jail since 1994. His history includes everything from drugs to robbery, and battery on a peace officer.
Now investigators have learned the two are first cousins.
The complaint states on the day he broke the window, Griego told investigators that Baca was his first cousin and that she was talking to his rival gang members in the same pod.
He stated Baca told them he was a “snitch.” Griego said because of what she did, other inmates “were yelling at me and antagonizing me for about two weeks, nonstop yelling my name and cell number.” He also said Baca threatened to “divide my commissary” among other inmates.
When investigators talked to Baca, they said she denied it all, even the fact that she was related to Griego.
Detectives didn’t believe her. They contacted family members of both individuals to track down their relation. Detectives said they talked to Baca’s mother on the phone. The criminal complaint states the detective could “hear paper shuffling in the background and delayed responses” to the questions. She told investigators Baca had “no contact with any persons on Griego’s side of the family.”
Eventually though, Baca fessed up, but claimed she’d only known for a few weeks. Investigators said that was another lie.
Baca’s charged with perjury and tampering with public records for submitting jail documents claiming the two weren’t related.
BCSO said Baca turned herself into deputies Friday afternoon. She’s now suspended with pay. Baca bonded out for $50 just a few hours after she was booked.
MDC said its policy for anyone who works there is to let their bosses know if a relative is booked into the jail.