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Inmate turns in deputy who tried to bribe him

Deputy Robert Pearl suspended without pay

Robert Pearl, a Monroe County corrections deputy, was arrested.
Robert Pearl, a Monroe County corrections deputy, was arrested.


KEY WEST, Fla. – A Monroe County corrections deputy was arrested Wednesday for offering an inmate favors in exchange for money, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office reports.

Instead of agreeing, Stock Island Detention Center inmate Robert Pearl reported Zachary Reams, 26, to his attorney Bernadette Restivo, who called the internal affairs unit at the sheriff's office on Tuesday, deputies said.

Pearl, who is in jail on multiple counts of fraud and possession of child pornography, told special investigations Sgt. Juan Llera that Reams had approached him on several occasions, and asked if he could borrow $5,000 from him deputies said.

These encounters happened as recently as March 3, according to deputies. That's when Reams approached Pearl and offered to "get him whatever he needs," including "a cell phone or other commodities."
 
Deputies said that Reams also told Pearl that he'd end up "on the right side of things" if there was ever a jail-cell search.
 
Reams also told Pearl that he knew his attorney and that he could pick up the money from his attorney's office, according to the report.  

On Monday, he gave Preak a note to take to his attorney, telling him he'd pick up the money on Wednesday  "around 11:30-12." 
 
Detectives spoke to Julio Margalli, the man Reams wrongly thought was Pearl's lawyer, and he agreed to cooperate with the investigation.
 
Undercover detectives waited for Reams at Margalli's office to pick up the money, deputies said, and when Reams arrived at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, he was arrested.
 
Reams was arrested on a charge of unlawful compensation for official behavior and booked into the Stock Island Detention Center, the same jail where he worked.
 
Reams was hired in June 2014 as a detention deputy. He has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of investigation.