FLORENCE AL Nov 26 2016 – Information about smuggling in contraband to inmates Thanksgiving evening resulted in the arrest of a Lauderdale County corrections officer, Sheriff Rick Singleton said.
Singleton said Brandon Pate, 21, of Florence, was charged with third-degree contraband after he was taken into custody Thursday evening.
The sheriff said detention center personnel received information that someone was supposed to bring contraband into the jail for inmates.
“When he arrived for duty Thursday night, detention officers questioned him and found the items he was trying to bring in to the inmates,” Singleton said.
Reports indicate Pate had cigarettes, tobacco, rolling papers, super glue, a cellphone and a makeshift cellphone charger.
Singleton said after being taken into custody, Pate, who had only been working at the detention center a couple of months, was placed in jail.
“He was there at least four hours before being bonded out,” the sheriff said.
This is the second corrections officer arrested for trying to smuggle items to inmates.
In July, Singleton said Kenneth Lee Lawson, 32, of Florence, who was a corrections officer at the time, was charged in connection with attempting to bring illegal drugs and tobacco products into the detention center hidden in a Bible.
The sheriff said Lawson, who had been working at the detention center for about three months, was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, attempting to commit a controlled substance crime, third-degree attempting to promote prison contraband, and carrying a pistol without a permit.
“We are not going to permit this. We have zero tolerance for these kinds of actions,” Singleton said. “From their first day on the job, our corrections officers are told that this will not be tolerated, and if they are caught they will be on the other side of the bars.
"I hope this proves to anyone else that we mean what we say."