LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Police arrested a Metro Corrections contract employee for allegedly trafficking drugs within the Louisville Metro Detention Center.
Jail director Jerry Collins said Metro Corrections officers received information that Marissa Brown, also known as Carlotta Phillips, was sneaking narcotics into LMDC with the intent to distribute them to incarcerated people.
About 60 various pills were found in Brown’s possession.
After her arrest, a Metro Corrections Special Operations Team searched the food service area where she worked. There, investigators found 14 small bundles of suspected fentanyl.
Police also charged Carlos Spain, an incarcerated person at the jail, with trafficking in a controlled substance, promoting contraband and tampering with physical evidence in relation to the suspected fentanyl.
Brown has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, promoting contraband and prescription not in a proper container.
Collins said it is not clear if the two arrests are related and LMDC is continuing to investigate.
When Collins took charge of the jail in April, he made fighting the spread of drugs a top priority. The jail has seen a recent string in overdoses and deaths.
“We have to act on it fast," Collins said. "Because when you talk about things like fentanyl you’re saving lives.”
Collins' administration increased security screenings at the jail by bringing in a new body scanner to search people for hidden drugs on intake.
LMDC reported 29 discoveries of contraband during the intake process just in the month of April. Most were some type of illegal drug and many substances were found with the body scanner.
“Anybody that’s thinking about bringing drugs in the jail we will find you and we will put you in jail," Collins said.
Collins added with increased security measures, come new methods of getting drugs inside.
“When you cut that off you’ll see it get pushed to inmates trying to get employees to get it in, so we’re able to better focus on that when you cut off the other ways it gets in," he said.
FOP Lodge 77 Spokesperson Tracy Dotson said fentanyl being in the jail is particularly concerning because it is so deadly.
“Its not like heroin or marijuana, where you just find it and you charge somebody or stop a ring or stop it from coming in," he said. "Fentanyl is highly infectious and dangerous, just skin contact alone can send someone to the hospital.”
Dotson said FOP members have been encouraged by the new administration's efforts. Collins said new K9 units are expected at the jail soon, and that jail leaders have other plans in mind as well.
"K9’s can sniff employees, they can sniff contractors, they can do all that, so we’re going to use that smartly," he said. “We know some paths I’m not going to say where drugs can come in that we’re on the path to fix.”
Collins said prior to the recent drug bust, LMDC began requiring employees to enter through one jail entrance. He said they go through an x-ray scanner, but are not physically searched for contraband.
Collins said Brown only worked for the jail for about a month and a half. He said her motivation for bringing drugs into the jail was still being investigated.
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