A former Jacksonville corrections officer was arrested this month, accused of conspiracy to introduce contraband into a correctional facility. The officer was terminated in February when this investigation began and was already on employee probation for falsifying his employment application, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Now, the former officer’s problems are even more serious, with a felony charge in the balance. Conspiracy to introduce contraband into a correction facility is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison.
The newspaper report did not specifically what the man was accused of helping sneak into the jail, or the details of the scheme and how it was done. Immediately in Jacksonville Felony Cases such as this, when people hear contraband being introduced into a correctional facility, they tend to think drugs. And, in many Jacksonville Felony Cases, that assumption is correction. But, jails and prisons are highly regulated environments and the list of contraband one can be arrested for bringing into the facility is extensive. Contraband includes written communication and food or clothing intended for an inmate in a correction institution. For example, if a person is visiting a family member or friend and tries to sneak in a candy bar for an inmate, they can be arrested for introducing contraband into a correctional facility. The same is true for weapons, drugs, cell phones and any other communications device.
And while the charge may be the same for someone trying to sneak something in and a corrections officer charged with doing it, it’s highly likely the two Jacksonville Felony Cases will be looked on in different lights by state prosecutors and the judge. When a corrections officer is charged in a Jacksonville Felony Case such as this, it implies he or she was either working with someone to allow banned material, possibly for some form of compensation, or at a minimum choosing to look the other way. This Jacksonville Felony Case is a prime example of how the court will often treat a case differently when a person in a position of authority is involved. It also emphasizes the importance of the state getting the charge right, because if it ends of being dropped or the person is found not guilty, the damage professionally for the officer is likely done with an arrest alone.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Felony Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.