Alien Inmates Indicted for the Murder of Federal Correctional Officer
by Jim Kouri
A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment charging Jose Cabrera Sablan, 43, and James Ninete Leon Guerrero, 40, with first degree murder, first degree murder of a federal Correctional Officer and murder by a federal prisoner serving a life sentence, US Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced on Friday.
The indictment alleges that on June 20, 2008, federal inmates Jose Cabrera Sablan, of Guam, and James Ninete Leon Guerrero, from Spain and now a resident of Guam, attacked Correctional Officer Jose Rivera at the US Penitentiary in Atwater, California.
Officer Rivera was returning inmates to their cells when Sablan pulled an eight-inch ice pick like shank out of his pocket and stabbed Officer Rivera in the upper torso. Officer Rivera attempted to escape but was tackled and held down by Guerrero while Sablan repeatedly stabbed Officer Rivera. Officer Rivera died as a result of his injuries.
"Federal correctional officers like Jose Rivera courageously put themselves in harm's way every day. Officer Rivera's death will not be in vain; these two murderers will be prosecuted to the fullest extent under federal law," said US Attorney Scott.
The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of first degree murder is life in prison or death. The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of first or second degree murder by a federal prisoner serving a life sentence is life in prison or death.
"The Bureau of Prisons would like to thank and commend the United States Attorney's Office for their diligence in bringing this case forward. This is an important first step in what we hope will be a relatively short process of bringing some closure to this tragic event. We would also like to thank the FBI and our own Bureau of Prisons staff who were instrumental in the investigation of this murder," said Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director Harley G. Lappin.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.