East Texas jailer accused of stealing cash from inmates

(MGN Image)

LIBERTY, Texas (AP) An East Texas jailer has been charged with stealing hundreds of dollars from inmates who surrendered the cash when booked.

The Liberty County Sheriff's Office says 23-year-old Mayra Gallegos-Balderas was arrested Tuesday on a theft of property warrant and freed on a personal recognizance bond.

Gallegos-Balderas worked for GEO Group, which operates the Liberty County jail, 40 miles (64 kilometers) northeast of Houston. The charge is a state felony because Gallegos-Balderas was a public servant.

Three people released from jail reported that some or all of the cash they had, documented during booking, wasn't returned. Capt. Ken DeFoor says Gallegos-Balderas allegedly stole nearly $1,500.

Online jail records didn't list an attorney representing Gallegos-Balderas, identified by DeFoor as a now-former correctional officer.

The GEO Group didn't immediately return a message Saturday.