KINGMAN — A former detention officer who delivered drugs and tobacco to her boyfriend and another inmate at the Mohave County jail was given a two-year prison term Friday.
Judge Billy Sipe rejected Ashley Aquino’s request to be placed on probation.
The former Bullhead City resident, who now is living with her mother in California, said she was 12 weeks pregnant and that she was hoping to put her criminal behavior in the past to focus on her job as a machinist and her future as a mother.
“I’m remorseful for what I did and I’m learning from my mistake,” Aquino said.
Her attorney, Adam Cirzan, said smuggling on the job was a “lapse in judgment” on Aquino’s part.
“She made a terrible mistake and she’s been paying for it ever since,” Cirzan said.
Prosecutor Karolina Czaplinska countered that bringing contraband into the jail on multiple occasions represented calculated criminal behavior, more than a simple single lapse in judgment. Czaplinska argued that a prison term was appropriate for Aquino’s breach of duty and violation of public trust.
Sipe detailed his understanding of the case, noting that there was an agreement for Aquino to deliver canisters to her inmate boyfriend, Ryan Acosta, and/or inmate, Matthew Solari. Sipe said he was aware Aquino thought the canisters only contained tobacco and later learned one or more of them actually contained heroin.
Sipe said corrections officers have a tough enough job as it is, and the presence of drugs within a jail facility makes it all the more difficult. He said he hoped the prison term ordered for Aquino might deter others from engaging in the same conduct.
Aquino, 24, entered a plea agreement convicting her of promoting prison contraband. Acosta, 29, of Bullhead City, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit promoting prison contraband.
Acosta faces up to a 10-year prison term when he is sentenced July 16. That sentence will start in 2027, once Acosta completes the prison term he is serving in an unrelated case.
Solari, 31, of Needles, is serving a 20-year prison term after entering plea agreements resolving multiple criminal cases, including the jail contraband matter.