HOUMA, La. (AP) — A guard at a Louisiana jail has been fired and arrested after authorities said she conspired with inmates to bring drugs and other contraband into the facility.
Ashley Thompson, 30, faces charges of taking contraband into a penal institution, malfeasance in office, conspiracy to possess Schedule I drugs and making drug transactions, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Wednesday.
Thompson had worked for the office for about eight years, Sheriff Tim Soignet said.
“We had to arrest one of our own,” he said. “It’s not a pleasant thing, but nobody’s above the law. Nobody’s exempt.”
Also charged in the investigation are Dyron Harris, 31, Len Harris, 37, and Jason Winslow, 28, all of Houma.
Investigators said Thompson sneaked the contraband — illegal drugs, cellphones and other items — into the jail in exchange for money and passed it to Dyron Harris. Len Harris allegedly helped distribute the contraband throughout the facility, the sheriff’s office said.
Investigators also learned Thompson was letting inmates take items from the commissary without paying for them.
When the scheme was exposed, Thompson was fired, Soignet said.
Thompson was booked in the jail on $150,000 bail. Dyron Harris and Len Harris are being held without bail and Winslow’s bail was set at $170,000. It was unknown if any of the suspects had an attorney who could speak on their behalf.