Wasco prison employee arrested after trying to buy 40 pounds of methamphetamine, officials say

CDCR - California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation logo

CDCR – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

A Wasco State Prison employee and another man were arrested Monday on suspicion of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Joseph Andrade, 38, of Bakersfield and Leonard Velazquez-Martinez, 50, of Minnesota conspired this month to purchase 40 pounds of meth and two kilograms of cocaine from an undercover law enforcement officer, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, Eastern District of California.

On Monday, they arrived at a location in Kern County to purchase the drugs, the release said.

Andrade, the prison employee, was driving a vehicle registered to him, and Velazquez occupied the front passenger seat, the release said. Velazquez directed the undercover officer’s attention to a grocery bag containing money, which was on the passenger-side floorboard of the vehicle.

The two men were arrested shortly afterward.

Andrade has been placed on administrative leave. He has been employed at Wasco State Prison since 2006, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

If convicted, Andrade and Velazquez-Martinez face a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

More Local News