A Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Correctional Officer was arrested over the holiday weekend after being caught attempting to bring narcotics and other contraband into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Sheriff’s Investigators and Correctional Staff initiated the month-long investigation after receiving information that an officer was possibly bringing contraband into the Correctional Facility. The investigation included surveillance and the service of three search warrants. On Friday at about 9:30 p.m., Officer Benjamen Jentry-Rakestraw, 20 of Fortuna, was stopped as he attempted to bring heroin, tobacco and other contraband into the jail. Jentry-Rakestraw was on duty at the time of his arrest. He was booked for bringing a narcotic controlled substance into a correctional facility, bringing contraband into a correctional facility, possession of a narcotic controlled substance, and possession of marijuana. His bail was set at $20,000 and he is expected to be arraigned by Wednesday.
“As soon as we received information of a possible contraband smuggling problem we began a complete and thorough investigation,” Sheriff Gary Philp said. “A problem like this that involves a staff member is not only unlawful, it is also extremely disappointing to me and all other members of this agency who hold ourselves to a high standard of professional and ethical conduct. This type of incident is a complete anomaly for us and is frankly a gross violation of trust to us as well as the public we serve and will never be tolerated.”
This investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected; no other officers are suspects.