scanners already turning up jail contraband

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 17:23 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News
A tattoo making device is among the contraband turning up at the LaPorte County Jail since use of a body scanner for incoming offenders began.

LaPorte County sheriff John Boyd said the homemade ink injecting apparatus was found Monday in a body cavity of a female offender.

She was brought in from a jail in another jurisdiction because of a warrant out for her arrest here.

Boyd said it's not against the law to have such a device but having one in the jail is against policy.

''Call me naïve, but I never would have guessed somebody could have put that where it was,'' said Boyd.

Last week, Boyd said the body scanner also uncovered in the undergarments of another female offender several pills of the muscle relaxer flexeril.

On November 20, offenders booked into the jail started being put through the body scanner that looks similar to ones at airport terminals.

It was acquired for $100,000 in response to more narcotics and other contraband like tobacco finding their way into the jail in recent months.

Andrea Roberts, 35, of Michigan City died in July from the use of fentanyl after found unresponsive in her cell.

Other instances include jail cook James Timberlake-Lane allegedly having a cell phone delivered to an inmate in his tray of mashed potatoes.

The 20-year old now former jail employee from Michigan City is facing a charge of level 5 felony trafficking with an inmate.

Other drugs recently turning up in the jail include marijuana and suboxone.

Boyd said he and his chief deputy Ron Heeg are walking through the scanner each time they enter the jail to set an example.

Other staff members are not to protect morale and privacy but any employee suspected of bringing in contraband will be required to go through the scanner, he said.

Previously, Boyd said all offenders during the book procedure were given a pat down search but anything more extensive like a strip search couldn't be done unless there was probable cause.

Boyd said he's pleased with the early results, saying both items probably would not have turned up without the scanner.