Nurse Accused of Smuggling Drugs and Contraband into Federal Prison

Bargaining for a reduced prison term, a federal inmate has flipped on the nurse who had been supplying the inmate with a cellphone and drugs in Miami’s Federal Detention Center, FBI officials said.

Ruben Montanez-Mirabal, 32, was arrested Wednesday on charges that include bribery and possessing contraband, controlled substances, and conspiracy, records show.

Ruben Montanez-Mirabal
Broward Sheriff's Office
Ruben Montanez-Mirabal

According to the probable cause affidavit, Montanez-Mirabal had worked as a registered nurse in Miami’s federal lockup since February 2020, but between Nov. 1, 2021, and Aug. 24 he was a drug mule for cash and flashy cars.

The inmate was back in prison for violating the terms of the release on a federal wire fraud conviction. Other pending cases include defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program and possessing a firearm, the court record stated.

The names and genders of the inmate and other sources of information in the investigation were not included in the court documents.

Montanez-Mirabal was paid about $1,500 by a third or fourth party through Zelle after each delivery of legal documents soaked in “spray,” also known as spice, K2, or synthetic marijuana, the FBI said.    

The inmate, who was an orderly assigned to cleaning duties, had access to the closet and the paperwork that the inmate then sold to fellow detainees for about $1,500 per page, investigators said.

In March, Montanez-Mirabal was recorded on video entering a mop closet on the ninth floor of the detention center. He was carrying a cylindrical object under his vest. When he left, investigators said they found about 37 drug-soaked pages rolled up and stuffed under a shelving unit.

His fingerprints were on the paperwork that tested positive for ADB-Butinaca, a cannabinoid designer drug, according to the FBI labs. 

The inmate communicated using a cellphone Montanez-Mirabal supplied. They conversed in code using “pesos” to mean $1,000 increments, and “libros” and “revistas” to indicate how many book or magazine pages of drugs were being ordered.

In addition to the cash, Montanez-Mirabal had access to a Rolls Royce, a Lamborghini, and a McLaren that the inmate’s associates supplied him with, according to records and pictures of Montanez-Mirabal in two of the cars.

A search of his Instagram account revealed conversations including a picture of Montanez-Mirabal in an orange Lamborghini with messages that said “My ride” and “this week they are giving me a Rolls Royce” and that it cost “absolutely nothing” because “it’s all about having the right contact,” records showed.

An examination of his financial records showed Montanez-Mirabal receiving payments through several Zelle accounts, agents said.

The head of the union Montanez-Mirabal belongs to told NBC 6 they do not comment on criminal matters and only address administrative issues for employees with a Bureau of Prisons. NBC 6 also reached out to the Bureau of Prisons about these allegations, with the agency saying they do not comment on pending litigation.

"The BOP committed to ensuring the safety and security of all inmates in our population, our staff, and the public. The BOP is also committed to holding accountable any employee who abuses a position of trust," the statement read in part.

Montanez-Mirabal remained in the Broward County Jail without bond pending his federal court appearance. He has no lawyer on record yet.

Article from NBC Miami.


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