COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — A Cocke County corrections officer is facing charges after he was accused of attempting to bring methamphetamine and other contraband into the jail, according to a release from the sheriff’s office and an incident report.
The Cocke County Sheriff’s Office released on Thursday that an employee, David Fletcher Kirkland Jr., 31, of Newport, had been arrested on charges after an investigation by the administration and the Narcotics Division.
The sheriff’s office added that Kirkland’s employment with CCSO was terminated.
The release also states that an inmate and another person involved in the conspiracy case were charged. An incident report says Kirkland, Cherokee Cobb, 26, of Newport, and John Dillon Dorsey Jr., 31, of Newport were charged.
The investigation began on Aug. 8, the incident report narrative says. CCSO was advised that Cobb and Dorsey attempted to get drugs inside the jail. During visitation, Cobb told Dorsey that she had the items. Dorsey waved for Cobb to go to the bathroom then Cobb went inside and came back to the visitation, starting another conversation.
Agents found a package at the bottom of a trashcan in the bathroom and inside was a cell phone, a baggie of methamphetamine, suboxone strips and a syringe needle.
Agents monitored jail calls made by Dorsey after 10 p.m. and heard Cobb tell him that she was waiting on another person to visit the jail with her. Cobb allegedly told him that she had the items that Dorsey wanted.
In the narrative, a blue vehicle pulled into the jail around 10:30 p.m. and Cobb came out of the vehicle while on the phone with Dorsey, walked into the main lobby, and shortly after, returned to the vehicle.
After the vehicle left, Cobb said they were going to River Street and parked with the lights off, according to the narrative. While still on the phone, Cobb walked to a dumpster and dropped the package off and. She told Dorsey the package was “too big to put under the dumpster, but it was sitting behind it where ‘he’ could find it.”
Around 11 p.m., agents saw Kirkland on jail cameras walking from the dumpster and then going to Dorsey’s cell, the narrative says. Kirkland and another jailer allegedly opened the door, Kirkland went inside and exchanged the package with Dorsey.
On Aug. 9, narcotics agents spoke with Kirkland, who admitted to bringing the package into the jail and giving it to Dorsey, however, he thought the package only contained tobacco.
CCSO says Kirkland was charged with contraband into a penal facility, conspiracy to bring contraband into a penal facility and official misconduct.
The incident report says that Cobb was charged with possession of a schedule II substance, two counts of sale, delivery, manufacturing, or possession of drugs, and two counts of conspiracy to commit, and Dorsey was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit.
According to the CCSO, Kirkland’s bond was set at $150,000, Dorsey was served a sentence and Cobb was being held waiting to go before a judge on Thursday.
“As the investigation continues, we will continue to monitor and investigate to make sure that we do what we can to prevent illegal drugs, phones, and other illegal contraband into the facility by employees or inmates. This is a serious issue that we, unfortunately, face in correction departments, but we will do our job to arrest and terminate employees that bring drugs or any other illegal contraband into the facility,” Sheriff C.J. Ball said.
Ball added that the sheriff’s office received a grant to buy a body scanner, which has been ordered. The scanner will be used used to monitor all inmates, employees and others to prevent illegal narcotics from entering the facility.