PINE BLUFF, Ark. – For the second time in two months a Jefferson County jailer has been arrested, with authorities claiming the deputy was trying to bring in contraband.
Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr. said Deputy Jailer Stephen Young was arrested early Tuesday morning just after he reported to work at the W.C. “Dub” Brassell Adult Detention Center.
Investigators said they found a “significant amount of contraband” in the 24-year-old Young’s possession. Among the items officials said they found were 140 grams of a green plant-like substance believed to be marijuana, a rechargeable vaping device, tobacco, clear plastic wrap, plastic baggies, cigar wraps and two mobile phone boxes.
Woods said deputy jailers receive extensive trailing from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, which he claimed exceeds the state-required 72 hours of training. Woods also noted that the deputy jailers are specifically warned about getting themselves into situations where they could be coerced into bringing contraband into the jail.
“They are informed that severe consequences will follow any such actions,” he said. “One of the very things our training staff and supervisors stress to applicants during the initial hiring process is that if they are caught bringing contraband into the jail, they will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We have a zero-tolerance policy regarding the introduction of contraband or any unauthorized items.”
Young faces two felony charges, furnishing, possessing, or using prohibited articles and possession of a controlled substance. A conviction on these charges carries a minimum sentence of five to 20 year in prison, and Young could face an enhanced penalty and fine of at least $10,000 since he was a law enforcement officer.
In September, the sheriff’s office arrested another jailer, 26-year-old Shacamry Brionn, who was also accused of trying to smuggle drugs into the jail.
Woods said he takes these breaches of security very seriously and sees them as a threat to the public’s trust in law enforcement.
“Jail staff must understand that they will be caught, arrested, and prosecuted to the fullest extent possible,” he stated. “Bringing unauthorized items such as drugs and phones into the detention facility threatens the safety and security of our facility as well as that of those who work and are detained therein.”
The sheriff noted and commended the work of Lieutenant Darinda Smith, saying her “diligence and attentiveness” kept the contraband from making its way to inmates.