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Allegations of corruption within the TDCJ

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Texas - Allegations of corruption within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice are surfacing.

Four Texas parole officers remain behind bars in Houston Tuesday morning.

Authorities say these are among the first arrests in a continuing, year-long federal and state investigation.

The officers worked at two Houston parole offices.

They reportedly took bribes to ignore drug-trafficking and other illegal activity by recently freed convicts.

Most of the bribes averaged around $1,000 and on one occasion, the payoff was $3,000.

Allegations of bribery and exchange of sexual favors have been under investigation for some time now.

If convicted, each defendant faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a possible $250-thousand fine.

Officials say the investigation is continuing and other arrests are likely.

These parole officers were responsible for the supervision of inmates and parolees who travel between states.

They were supposed to be ensuring that no criminal conduct was being committed.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says the alleged actions of these employees can erode the public's confidence.

It can also damage the integrity of parole officers across the state that perform their duties faithfully every day.

The department says they are committed to rooting out suspected corruption within the criminal justice system.

The cases were brought by a public corruption task force that includes the FBI, Texas Rangers, Houston Police Department and the TCDJ inspector general.

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