Jailer Arrested For Bringing Contraband Into Jail

LIBERTY, March 17, 2014 - At 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 15th, the supervisory staff of CEC (Community Education Centers) Liberty County Jail conducted a surprise “shakedown” of inmates and jailers. A shakedown is a search and inspection of the premises for the purpose of finding contraband or security concerns. During a shakedown, the cell blocks and housing units, as well as the inmates themselves are searched. Correctional officers (C.O.’s) and other employees can also be subject to search. This particular shakedown included all incoming and outgoing staff.

The initial shakedown only turned up minor items, such as inmates that had spoiled commissary items or extra laundry. But one correctional officer arrived to work late at approximately 6:05 a.m. He was made to stand in the lobby for a minute before being allowed entry the facility. While he was waiting, he went into the men’s restroom for a few seconds, then came back out. He was “pat searched” before entering the jail. Once the C.O. entered the facility, CEC Sergeant Luther Burks went to search the restroom, which had already searched and cleared at the beginning of the shakedown. It was then that Sgt. Burks found five (5) packages of “Bugler” brand tobacco pouches in the restroom wastebasket. Sgt. Burks notified his chain of command and the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) was also contacted. Through the joint investigation it was determined that the C.O. had indeed brought the tobacco into the jail. He stated that he would have received $100 for the transaction, once he delivered the tobacco.

The investigators for LCSO, Sgt. Floyd Pearson and Deputy William Candelari submitted a probable cause affidavit to Justice of the Peace Stephen Hebert, and Judge Hebert issued a warrant of arrest for Tyree Richards, 26, of Liberty. The deputies then booked-in Richards for the offense of Prohibited Substance in a Correctional Facility with Intent to Distribute. On Sunday, March 16th, Justice of the Peace Wade Brown set bond on Richards at $10,000. Richards subsequently posted bond later that evening.

Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader stated, “Contraband is an issue for every jail facility. I commend Warden Carnes and her supervisors for staying on top of the issue. While the tobacco itself might not seem like a big concern to some, the fact that a jailer’s integrity had been compromised and he could then be made to bring in other items, including safety threats, is a major issue that needed to be dealt with immediately.”



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