As of July 2010, The GDC Office of Professional Standards, in conjunction with local & federal law enforcement partners, have investigated or arrested approximately 481 staff and civilians for introducing contraband into prisons throughout the state.
1) On March 13, 2013 at Telfair State Prison, Officer Amber Akins failed to clear the metal detector. After several attempts, Officer Akins stated that she had on a body sharper undergarment and needed to remove it. After she removed the undergarment, she was able to clear the metal detector. Post 1 Officer went into bathroom to shake it down and discovered two packages of tobacco that Officer Akins had left. One of the two packages contained loose smoking tobacco and the other one contained three packages of Bugler smoking tobacco. The Helena Police Department was called and took Officer Akins into custody.
2) On March 16, 2013 at Valdosta State Prison, visitor Maria Angelic Castro-Gonzalez was observed by the main control officer passing something to an inmate. She was removed from the visiting area and admitted that she bringing drugs into the facility. Visitor Castro-Gonzalez gave the supervisor three rolls approximately ï¿½ inch in diameter by 2" in length of what appeared to be marijuana. Visitor Castro-Gonzalez was arrested by the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department.
3) On March 17, 2013 at Ware State Prison, visitor Hope Villarruel was observed passing contraband to an inmate. She was removed from visitation and questioned. She admitted to bringing in 12 balloons filled with marijuana to the inmate. Six balloon were recovered totaling 13 grams. Her vehicle was searched and one marijuana cigarette was found. The Ware County Sheriff's Office arrested visitor Villarruel. The inmate was then strip searched and the other 6 balloons were recovered.
The Department of Corrections is committed to identifying and pursuing prosecution of those persons who attempt to introduce contraband into state facilities.