The sheriff’s department has seen an increase lately of prisoners trying to sneak drugs into the jail.
Five inmates were caught within the last week and all of them have been charged with bringing contraband into a penal facility.
41 year old Amy Lynn Hall of Felts Road, Sparta, arrested Thursday, April 18 on a fugitive from justice warrant, was caught on a jail surveillance camera removing something from her body cavity and then flushing it down a toilet before putting something else back in her body. Before being moved to the main population cell, Hall was strip searched by a female correctional officer. The search turned up a glass pipe. Hall was charged with introduction of contraband and tampering with or fabricating evidence. Her bond totals $12,500 and she will make a court appearance on May 16.
In a separate case, 34 year old Michael Pieree Rose, another inmate at the jail, was found on April 20 with two white oxycodone pills. His bond is $7,500 and he will make a court appearance on May 9.
Meanwhile three other inmates, 33 year old Laura Beth Farris of Lebanon, 40 year old Sherry May Evans of Pea Ridge Road Liberty, and 47 year old Tammy Denise Currie of Toad Road were charged on Sunday April 21 after female correctional officers noticed suspicious activity in the women’s cell and began to investigate. During a strip search, Farris produced from her body cavity two plastic baggies, one containing a white powdery substance believed to be Neurotin. The other baggie held a crystal like substance believed to be methamphetamine.
The investigation revealed that Farris was trying to hide the drugs for Evans who had given her the Neurotin and Currie who had passed her the methamphetamine.
Farris, Evans, and Currie are each under a $7,500 bond and will make a court appearance on the charges May 2.
Recent busy court days when inmates are brought back and forth between the jail and the courthouse could be a reason for the uptick in this contraband activity. Our court officers do their best to secure the courthouse and keep it free of contraband but for the last three weeks there have been several days in which we have had up to three courts being conducted at the same time including two on the third floor with the General Sessions and Criminal Courts and another in the first floor courtroom. Under those circumstances it is hard to get inmates from the jail to the different courtrooms without them picking up things (contraband) left by others on the ground or courthouse stairwells.
More manpower for his department could help address the issues.
We are required to have two court officers per court and someone has to do the scanning (operate the courthouse metal detector). On very hectic court days we don’t have enough court officers so we have to use the chief deputy, detectives and other officers to come in and work courts. We are hoping the county budget committee will recommend funding my request this year for extra officers and manpower to help keep this problem from happening.
We work hard to keep things out of the jail especially drugs. From time to time we see inmates that are being booked into the jail come in with different kinds of medication or illegal substances in their body cavities as a means of trying to hide those drugs from the correctional officers in order to get them into their cell. When we find an inmate in possession of drugs in jail we arrest them again for that.