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Sunday August 19, 2018

jail cook charged with smuggling

Monday, September 18, 2017 17:17 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

A part-time cook at the LaPorte County Jail allegedly smuggled a cell phone and possibly other contraband like drugs to an inmate in exchange for cash.

James Timberlake-Lane, 20, of Michigan City is charged in LaPorte Circuit Court with level 5 felony trafficking with an inmate.

Roddi Boesel, the alleged recipient of the contraband, is charged with the exact same offense.

According to court documents, Timberlake-Lane while in the kitchen September 8 allegedly placed a cell phone into a food tray containing mashed potatoes and had an unsuspecting inmate deliver the plate to Boesel in his jail cell on the 4th floor.

The cellphone during a shake down of the jail that followed was found on the tray on a bunk assigned to Boesel, court documents showed.

Court records also disclosed bags containing loose tobacco, marijuana and suboxone along with a cigarette lighter were also discovered above the ceiling tiles inside a bathroom reserved for jail trustees on the 4th floor cellblock.

The investigation shows Boesel allegedly had a female acquaintance from Hammond drive to LaPorte County and pay Timberlake-Lane for the contraband.

One payment was for $300.

There was at least one more payment for $150, court records disclosed.

LaPorte County Sheriff John Boyd said Timberlake-Lane is no longer employed at the jail.

He was hired in December of 2016.

Boesel from Gary was in the jail awaiting the outcome of several felony drug dealing charges related to heroin and cocaine discovered at Blue Chip Casino, according to court records.

Boyd also said disciplinary measures were taken against Boesel, but he would not be more specific.

In response to the alleged activity, Boyd said entranceways for jail staff members have been changed, the type of items jail employees can bring inside is more restricted and they're now subject to random searches.

'Those are some of the things we're doing,'' said Boyd.

Boyd said he will also be asking the LaPorte County Council September 24 to approve $100,000 to purchase a body scanner.

The scanner would be used on employees reporting for work and offenders getting booked into the facility to turn up any contraband that might be hidden in their clothing.

Images of any contraband swallowed or placed into a body cavity would also turn up, he said.

Boyd said he was already looking to acquire a body scanner after drugs began finding their way into the hands of several inmates in recent weeks.

One inmate, 35-year old Andrea Roberts of Michigan City was found unresponsive in her cell July 15 and died.

Lethal amounts of fentanyl were found in her system, police said.

Boyd said another person not employed at the sheriff's office could be arrested depending on the outcome of the ongoing investigation.
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