Former Hidalgo County detention officers punched inmates in three incidents

Malik John Lee and Alan Omar Jalomo
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Two former Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office detention officers are accused of attacking inmates who posed no threat on three separate, unrelated occasions this year.

Investigators arrested McAllen resident Malik John Lee and Pharr resident Alan Omar Jalomo, both 26, last Thursday.

Lee is charged with two counts of official oppression while Jalomo is charged with a single count of official oppression.

The most recent allegation stems from an incident that happened on April 1 when an inmate named Cedrick Anciso Soto was notified he was being transferred to the Brooks County Jail.

“A few minutes later Detention Officer Jesus Munoz and Detention Officer Malik Lee went into the cell to escort him out,” a probable cause affidavit stated. “He was then escorted to the Male Dress Out Room. Inside the Male Dress Out Room he was being taunted and insulted by Detention Officer Lee.”

Soto ignored the insults and Lee’s taunts for him to fight.

“He got his belongings and was told to walk out of the Male Dress Out Room,” the affidavit stated. “As he was walking Detention Officer Lee punched him on his back causing him pain for no reason.”

He was then placed in a holding cell and told investigators that he is scared of being assaulted by Lee again.

The affidavit said that Lee admitted to punching the man during a voluntary interview.

Lee is also accused of punching an inmate on Jan. 13.

In this instant an inmate named Rolando Flores was being escorted out of a cell following a disturbance at the jail.

“The video shows Detention Officer Lee punching Inmate Flores in the ribs area several times as he was non-combative and not putting any physical resistance,” the affidavit stated.

Flores told investigators that Lee punched him for no reason while he was being taken to the infirmary and in a voluntary interview, Lee admitted to punching the man in the ribs.

Jalomo is accused of punching an inmate in the head and kneeing him in the thighs.

That happened on Jan. 11 during a strip search, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Investigators said an inmate named Jeremy Martinez had been surrounded by four detention officers, including Jalomo.

“The inmates then begin to yell at the guards because they did not want to be strip searched more than once,” an affidavit stated.

Martinez was placed on the floor for refusing commands.

“While placing Martinez on the ground Detention Officer Jalomo is seen striking Martinez on the thighs using his knees,” the affidavit stated. “Detention Officer Jalomo also struck Martinez in the head multiple times with a closed fist. At no time in the video is Martinez seen attempting to strike detention officers.”

In a Facebook post following the arrests, the sheriff’s office said it is committed to maintaining the public’s trust and confidence.

“Our investigation found that the use of force by Jalomo and Lee against the inmates under their direct care and custody was unjustified,” the post read. “We will take necessary and appropriate actions to ensure accountability and transparency to the public and the citizens we served.”

The sheriff’s office reported the charges to the FBI for possible Civil Rights violations.

Lee bailed out of jail on $10,000 in personal recognizance bonds on April 11 while Jalomo bailed out on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond that same day.