San Mateo County corrections officer accused of selling drugs in jail


Jason Jurow, a corrections officer in the San Mateo County jail, faces a preliminary hearing in a Redwood City courtroom on Sept. 14 to answer to drug-related charges.

Mr. Jurow, 32 and a jail employee for six years, gave himself up to authorities on Aug. 13 on suspicion of having committed six felonies: one count of bringing drugs into jail, three counts of selling drugs in jail, and two counts of possession of drugs for the purpose of selling them, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Mr. Jurow allegedly brought into the jail the drug Xanax, used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, and he was allegedly in possession of thousands of pills of oxycodone and morphine, prosecutors said.

A San Mateo County physician prescribed the drugs for Mr. Jurow, Mr. Wagstaffe said. Prosecutors have referred the physician's name to the state medical board to determine whether there has been misconduct worthy of prosecution.

Surrender options

In a similar case, Deputy Juan Lopez, a 27-year veteran of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office whose duties included working in the county jail, was arrested at his Newark home in November 2014 on charges of having smuggled a cellphone into jail.

At the time of his arrest, Mr. Lopez was outside his house. Officers from an Alameda County task force arrived with sirens wailing and lights flashing, his attorney David Washington said at the time. With guns drawn, the officers ordered Mr. Lopez to put his hands in the air and get down on his knees, and he was then handcuffed, Mr. Washington said.

Asked to comment on the different handling of two arrests, both in connection with alleged smuggling by jail employees, Mr. Wagstaffe said he didn't know whether Mr. Lopez had been offered a surrender, and that such offers are at the discretion of the prosecutor assigned to the case.

In general, prosecutors make surrender offers through defense attorneys, but only if the suspect is not a flight risk, the charges don't involve an ongoing crime, and the charges are not related to a violent crime, Mr. Wagstaffe said. Neither Mr. Lopez nor his attorneys were available for comment.

As for contacting that prosecutor to ask whether Mr. Lopez had been offered a chance to surrender, Mr. Wagstaffe said the prosecutor would very probably not answer that question. "They made a call on it," he said. "For whatever reason, they made a call on it."

— Dave Boyce

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