Union-Bulletin Court Report

A Washington State Penitentiary corrections officer faces charges of methamphetamine possession and second-degree attempting to introduce contraband into a detention facility.

Walla Walla County prosecutors filed the charges against Gustavo Ramirez Meza Jr., 42, of College Place, on Monday.

He had been under surveillance for ongoing drug and contraband introductions at the facility, according to records.

Walla Walla Police and penitentiary investigators found Meza likely would receive a delivery of meth, Suboxone, cash and a cellphone at his home on the 500 block of Southeast Fourth Street.

On Nov. 25, investigators watched areas thought to be involved with delivery and saw a vehicle arrive at Meza’s home, a man get out and move something inside Meza’s boat parked in the driveway. Police stopped the vehicle, got a search warrant for the boat and found suspected meth, Suboxone strips, cash and a cellphone under a boat seat.

Investigators believed Meza intended to give the drugs and other items to one or more inmates at the penitentiary, according to records, and he was arrested.

He was placed on leave pending the outcome of the case, according to Allison Window, a penitentiary spokeswoman. If Meza is found guilty as charged, he could get up to six years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Meza posted $10,000 bail and was released. His arraignment is set for Dec. 10.

Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.