Deputy arrested, fired for selling drugs to inmate
[East Baton Rouge, LA]

Melissa Moore
December 20, 2000, Wednesday Metro Edition
Copyright 2000 Capital City Press
The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA.)
December 20, 2000, Wednesday Metro Edition

(EAST BATON ROUGE PARRISH, La.) -- An East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputy was arrested and fired Tuesday after he admitted selling marijuana to a prison inmate, a Sheriff's Office spokesman said.

Parish Prison officials found a small amount of marijuana in a cell at the prison Sunday during what Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Darrell O'Neal described as a shakedown of the cell.

The inmate told deputies he got the marijuana from guard Christopher Paul Jackson, O'Neal said.

Jackson, 23, told investigators he brought marijuana to the prison twice, including the time that led to his arrest. The other time was in November, O'Neal said.

He sold it to inmates both times, O'Neal said.

Jackson, 30907 Dogwood St., Denham Springs, has worked for the Sheriff's Office since February and was assigned to Parish Prison, O'Neal said.

He was booked into Parish Prison with malfeasance in office, entering contraband into a penal facility and distribution of marijuana.

Capt. D.T. Jones said officials at the jail are constantly trying to prevent drugs from getting in, but cannot keep out everything.

"It gets in here. It's like anything else. Where there's a will, there's a way," Jones said. "We try to keep it down to a minimum."

Incoming inmates try to hide drugs. Visitors try to stash drugs in out-of-the-way places so inmates can find and use them later, he said.

"That's always something that we're mindful of," Jones said.

People who want to get drugs into the prison are creative. It is sometimes a challenge to keep up. "We've had tennis balls thrown over the fence" with drugs hidden inside, he said. "Before they go out on recreation, we search the yard."

Jones said the last place officials hope they will find drug smuggling is among prison guards.

"That's the embarrassing part," he said.

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