Guard pleads not guilty to jail smuggling
A San Mateo County corrections officer accused of delivering cellphones and drugs to a Redwood City jail inmate last year pleaded not guilty to four felony charges Tuesday afternoon, county District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
George Ismael, 40, is charged with three counts of conspiracy and one count of providing an inmate with drugs for allegedly smuggling contraband to Dionicio Lopez Jr., 26, a Hells Angels member charged with shooting into a Daly City home in 2011.
Ismael allegedly communicated with Lopez’s family outside of the Maguire Correctional Facility and helped them deliver cellphones and drugs to him between April and December 2013.
Ismael allegedly spoke to Lopez’s sister, Amanda Lopez, 25, met with his girlfriend, Roxanne Ingebretsen, 28, and picked up a cellphone purchased by his mother, Leticia Lopez, 55, prosecutors said. Later, when Dionicio Lopez allegedly sold the cellphone to another inmate, Ismael brought him another one, prosecutors said.
Two other sheriff’s employees are charged in the conspiracy. Corrections officer Michael Del Carlo, 43, allegedly took Dionicio Lopez’s cellphone out of his cell at his request and brought it back two days later.
Sheriff’s Deputy Juan Pablo Lopez, 63, allegedly took a picture of two other inmates with one of the contraband phones, according to prosecutors. Ismael, Del Carlo and Juan Lopez each have more than a decade of experience with the sheriff’s office.
Juan Lopez unsuccessfully ran for sheriff earlier this year, receiving 1.4 percent of the vote in June. Prosectuors said he has no family relation to Dionicio Lopez.
The cellphone, along with smuggled oxycodone, alprazolam and ibuprofen, was eventually found hidden in Dinoicio Lopez’s cell last December, according to prosecutors. Ismael is charged with the most counts of the three sheriff’s employees.
All seven defendants are charged with two counts of conspiracy, while Ismael, Amanda Lopez and Ingebretsen are each charged with a third conspiracy count and one count of smuggling the drugs into jail. Dionicio Lopez is also charged with the third conspiracy count as well as three counts of possessing drugs in jail.
Ismael remains free on $100,000 bail and is next set to appear in court on Dec. 19 along with Dionicio Lopez, his girlfriend, his mother and his sister. Juan Lopez is scheduled to appear Dec. 16 and Michael Del Carlo is scheduled to appear Dec. 31.