As of July 2010, The GDC Office of Professional Standards, in conjunction with local & federal law enforcement partners, have investigated or arrested approximately 297 staff and civilians for introducing contraband into prisons throughout the state.
1) On May 25, 2012, Correctional Officer Jeffrey Bentley attempted to enter Dooly State Prison with 2.04 ounces of marijuana. Contraband was hidden inside of a Dorito bag. The Dooly County Sheriff's Office responded and Officer Bentley's vehicle was searched. The search revealed two more packages of marijuana weighing approximately 7.5 ounces, a $552.00 receipt and a Green Dot card. Officer Bentley was arrested by the Dooly County Sheriff's Office.
2) On May 28, 2012, visitation Officers observed three (3) female visitors acting suspiciously near the vending machines at Telfair State Prison. Upon further investigation, staff discovered five (5) packages wrapped in black duct tape hidden inside a piano bench in the visitation area. All three (3) visitors were removed from the visitation area and questioned. Visitor Mary Laster, mother of an inmate, was found to be wearing a pair of Telfair State Prison medical issued tennis shoes. She admitted to swapping her shoes with her son. Visitor Lashana Hines used a fake ID to enter into the facility and a search of the vehicle was conducted. An empty roll of black duct tape, a empty Jordan shoe box with receipt and several Green Dot cards were found during the search. Laster and Hines were arrested by the Helena Police Department and Telfair County Sheriff's Office after a total of five (5) packages containing 17 ounces of tobacco and 15 packs of rolling papers were found. The third visitor was questioned, however nothing was found on her person or in her vehicle.
3) On May 29, 2012, visitor Mia Wheeler attempted to enter Hays State Prison when an Officer noticed a strong marijuana odor. When questioned, Wheeler admitted to having contraband on her person. Wheeler pulled out 57 balloons of marijuana from the front of her pants. The Chattooga Sheriff's Department arrested Wheeler.
4) On May 29, 2012, visitor Ayesa Showell attempted to enter Hays State Prison when an Officer noticed a strong marijuana odor. When questioned, Showell admitted to having a one (1) small bag of marijuana on her person. The Chattooga Sheriff's Department arrested Showell.
The Department of Corrections is committed to identifying and pursuing prosecution of those persons who attempt to introduce contraband into state facilities.