Former TDCJ Corrections Officer charged in bribery, cell phone case

Local News

Belal Imad Eddine Awkal

A 30-year-old former TDCJ Corrections Officer has been arrested and booked into the Coryell County Jail on charges of conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with a scheme to get cell phones to inmates in a prison unit at Gatesville.

A Coryell County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said deputies had traveled to Florida to bring back Belal Imad Eddine Awkal from the location where he was arrested.

Deputies said they thought he had been planning to leave the country.

An arrest affidavit stated that it was believed Belal had approached at least two corrections officers in the scheme after he had left the Hughes Unit where he had been working, with the affidavit only mentioning one other participating in the plan.

The investigation had begun in June after an inmate was found in possession of a cell phone.

Awkal had resigned his position in February

Thousands of dollars were mentioned in the affidavit as having changed hands in the scheme.

It was not immediately clear how many phones were involved or how many inmates had received them.

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