CALIPATRIA, Calif. – Officials at Calipatria State Prison said a woman was arrested after allegedly trying to smuggle methamphetamine into the state prison Saturday.
Visiting staff was alerted to an area in Facility “C” Visiting Room, where visitors and inmates are allowed to take photographs. They say 25-year-old Ninivel Benitez, an approved visitor of Jose Zapien who is convicted of first-degree murder, was standing while having their photograph taken.
Visiting staff observed Zapien and Benitez acting nervous by looking around the visiting room. Visiting staff separated the two and during a consented search of Benitez, staff discovered one bindle with meth. The one bindle weighed 5.5 grams and had a prison value of $5,500.
Zapien was placed into the Administration Segregation Unit, which is a jail within the prison. Benitez was booked into the Imperial County Jail and is facing felony charges. If convicted Benitez faces three to five years in prison.