Correctional officer, inmate accused of extortion

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By Sarah Blais By Sarah Blais

WINSLOW -- The Arizona Department of Corrections arrested a former correctional officer and an inmate on suspicion of extorting another inmate and his family.

Former officer Jordan Martie, 22, of Winslow, and an inmate from the Arizona State Prison Complex -- Winslow allegedly developed a scheme to collect $900 from another inmate.

The suspect inmate, whose name is being withheld by the Department of Corrections pending formal charges from the Navajo County Attorney's Office, allegedly threatened another inmate and demanded money in exchange for protecting the inmate.

According to the prison's Criminal Investigations Unit, Martie then allegedly offered to personally protect the inmate if the inmate's family paid him $900.

Investigators said Martie contacted a relative of the inmate and told the relative that the inmate's safety depended on the payment.

The family made a partial payment and contacted investigators at the Winslow prison, according to the Department of Corrections.

Martie and the suspect inmate were each arrested on charges of theft by extortion, fraudulent schemes and artifices, and attempted fraudulent schemes and artifices.

"Corrections officers are trained to impartially manage the inmate population and to ensure the safety of every inmate in the department’s custody as well as the safety of their fellow officers and other staff," said Department of Corrections Director Charles L. Ryan. "This now-former officer betrayed his oath, compromised his position and placed many others at risk by allegedly engaging in criminal activity. I will urge that he and the suspect inmate be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Martie has resigned from his position at the Department of Corrections, where he began working Feb. 11.