ST. GABRIEL - A second cadet at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center was arrested Wednesday for attempting to smuggle drugs into the jail, according to St. Gabriel Police.
The cadet, 26-year-old Tierra Lewis, was booked on charges of introduction of contraband into a correctional facility and malfeasance in office after she was arrested.
A security supervisor at Elayn Hunt said a suspicious package was discovered in the facility’s parking lot on Wednesday. When the package was examined, a significant amount of synthetic marijuana (commonly called “Mojo”) was discovered inside.
Further investigation revealed that Lewis had discarded the package earlier that evening as she and her fellow officers were reporting for duty. Elayn Hunt officials say Lewis became uneasy after she saw other officers on her shift being searched at the buildings entrance.
Lewis later told police she was bringing the drugs into the prison for an unidentified inmate who had paid her $200.
If convicted, Lewis could face up to 10 years behind bars. She was serving as Corrections Cadet, which is a probationary position at the facility. She has since been fired.
An internal investigation has been launched to determine the inmate’s identity and to find out if other inmates were involved. The offenders will face disciplinary action and possible criminal charges.
Warden Robert Tanner noted that this is the second such incident in just a few days at the correctional center. On Sunday, 29-year-old Jessica Dedon, of Denham Springs, was observed on video surveillance as she smuggled tobacco, rolling papers, cell phones, chargers and alcohol into the jail. The officer in training was fired and placed into police custody.
“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to train and educate our new cadets of the dangers and consequences of illicit dealings with our offenders, some still seek to make what they might perceive as a quick buck. I am convinced, however, that the overwhelming majority of our staff is committed to performing their job in a professional and ethical manner. They are to be commended for the fine work they do on a daily basis under extremely difficult conditions,” said Warden Tanner.
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