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Deputy held on allegations of smuggling marijuana into jail

A Louisiana sheriff's deputy who worked at a parish detention facility stands accused of bringing marijuana and other contraband into the jail with an intent to distribute it to the inmates whom he was guarding. The man stands charged with four counts in all, with the charges against him including introduction of contraband, official misconduct and drug trafficking charges. The local sheriff's department, his employer, arrested him after senior jail staff received information that the man had been providing contraband items to prisoners and was planning to do so again.

Authorities searched the man's office, where they claim to have found what appeared to be marijuana and tobacco, both of which are illegal to have in a jail. After being interrogated, the man reportedly confessed that he was going to sell the items in the jail.

While it is not clear whether the authorities had a warrant to search through the deputy's personal belongings, one thing that complicates this case is that the sheriff's office was also the man's employer. Generally speaking, employers have broader rights to search through an employee's personal belongings left at work, although this right is not unlimited.

A conviction or even a prolonged criminal case could mean that this man will not be allowed to work in law enforcement ever again. In addition, he faces substantial penalties, including the possibility of jail time or highly restrictive probation. Moreover, a judge may conclude that the man deserves a more serious punishment since he was a public safety official.

Source: WAFB, "Sheriff's deputy accused of trying to smuggle drugs into jail," Jan. 6, 2014

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