Former SCDC employee jams police frequencies
An ex-employee of the Socorro County Detention Center is facing charges for jamming police radio frequencies with lewdness and a phony distress call April 12.
Keith Bailey is charged with misdemeanor resisting, evading or obstructing an officer; petty misdemeanor tampering with evidence; misdemeanor impersonating a peace officer; and interference with communications, also a misdemeanor. He is scheduled for arraignment in Magistrate Court next week.
Deputy Ed Sweeney said Socorro County Sheriff’s Department deputies were assisting Socorro Police Department officers in a foot pursuit the afternoon of April 12 when Bailey allegedly jammed their radios with his own fictional broadcast.
Undersheriff Les Torres said he recognized the man’s voice, and officers and deputies went to Bailey’s residence to apprehend him.
Sweeney said Bailey had been fired from the Socorro County Detention Center recently, and apparently took a radio with him. Sweeney said since the detention center radio was already programmed, Bailey was able to hook it up at home and communicate with it.
Sweeney said authorities are also looking at bringing federal charges against Bailey through the Federal Communications Commission.
The criminal complaint filed in Socorro Magistrate Court states that while SPD officers and SCSD deputies were involved in a foot pursuit, someone who knew officers by name began talking on the police radio frequency. The person used a lot of “lewd conduct” on the radio. Several times during the foot pursuit, police had to wait for the person to stop transmitting so they could transmit.
Eventually the man began transmitting on the sheriff’s department frequency, according to the criminal complaint, and he continued transmitting for some time. He claimed to be Evangel Maldonado, the jail administrator, and reported a riot at the jail, requesting backup.
Once Bailey’s voice was identified, officers and deputies went to his home near Lemitar. Police blotters indicate authorities found Bailey highly intoxicated when they arrived at his residence. According to the criminal complaint, Bailey came out of his house and began shouting at police, then went back inside. Officers talked him into coming back out, then detained him just inside the doorway.
While apprehending Bailey, officers found a Motorola in-car police radio in plain view, according to the criminal complaint. Bailey was Mirandized, eventually admitting he was the person interfering on the radio, according to the complaint. He allegedly turned over two handheld radios he had in the front seat of his Chevrolet pickup.