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CBS 5 INVESTIGATION

5 AZ corrections officers accused of money laundering

(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
DOUGLAS, AZ (CBS5) -

Five Arizona Department of Corrections officers at the prison in Douglas have been accused of laundering money by funneling it into Mexico.

The Department of Corrections officers are surrounded by criminals every day, including cartel and mafia members from south of the border.

CBS 5 News uncovered a policy that allows corrections officers to not only live in Mexico and commute to work every day, but as long as they have a work visa, they don't even need to be a U.S. citizen.

In 1992, the ADC adopted guidelines that say corrections officers only have to be eligible to work in the United States.

They also need to pass a background check, but it raises questions of how extensive that can be when the potential employee grew up and still lives south of the border.

Spokesmen from the Arizona Department of Corrections originally confirmed to CBS 5 News that some of the officers in question for money laundering do live in Mexico, but an hour later they said they could not confirm or deny the information.

If they do commit crimes in Arizona prisons, it would be extremely difficult to prosecute or even find them once they drive back over the border.

Three of the officers accused of money laundering immediately resigned.

Corrections officials wouldn't say who they are or where they might be, and corrections director Charles Ryan wasn't scheduled back from Washington, DC, until Monday.

On Friday evening, the Arizona Department of Corrections responded partially to a list of questions Friday evening, telling CBS 5 News that "all current ADC employees have reported Arizona addresses to the ADC's HR office."

CBS 5 News also asked about the five corrections officers accused of money laundering and where they live.

The ADC's answer: "No current employees have reported an address outside of Arizona. ADC does not maintain history of employee address changes, so the records do not reflect if any employees previously lived outside of the United States while working with ADC."

The ADC statement did not address the three officers who resigned.

The task force heading up the investigation is made up of the attorney general, DPS and the Phoenix Police Department. All declined to comment or were unavailable.

Stay with cbs5az.com for updates on this developing story.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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