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Monday, Sep. 22, 2014

Two arrested for smuggling drugs into jail

Friday, October 28, 2005

BENTON - Two people are in custody and charges are pending against two more in separate incidents involving attempts to smuggle contraband into the Scott County Jail.

In custody is Dustin Sitzes, 29, of Cape Girardeau, who was already an inmate at the Scott County Jail. Sitzes is charged with failure to appear on a possession of a controlled substance charge, when the new offense was committed.

Released on a $25, 000 bond is Susan R. Haney, 25, of Chaffee.

Sitzes and Haney are charged with delivery or possession of a controlled substance at a county jail, which is a felony.

According to Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter that crime involved a conspiracy between Haney and Sitzes to introduce marijuana into the county jail by having Haney deliver it to a public area inside the jail. It would then be picked up by Sitzes, who was a trustee, during routine cleaning of the public areas.

Jail staff on duty, following security procedures, located the contraband before it could be picked up by Sitzes. During the follow-up investigation, Haney was identified as the person who dropped it off.

"This is the reason we have established a strict sign-in, sign-out procedure for those visiting at the jail," said Walter. "Knowing who is on the jail property at any given time, coupled with vigilance of the jail staff, and the many CCTV cameras we have all over the jail property provide a pretty good defense against this sort of thing.

"We are very sensitive to anything that is attempted to be smuggled into the jail. If they can get a small bag of marijuana or even cigarettes into the jail, they could get a knife or a gun in, and that gives the jail staff a little additional incentive to be watching for this type of activity."

The other two incidents involved friends or family members of inmates trying to have cigarettes smuggled into the jail by dropping them off outside of the jail and having a trustee recover them during work assignments. The investigations are complete in both of these cases with requests for charges sent to the prosecuting attorney.

"These are also cases where inmate trustees were supposed to pick up the contraband during cleaning operations outside the jail. The trustees are never allowed to go anywhere unsupervised, either inside or outside the jail," Walter said. "Trustees and inmates that have work privileges, but they are still inmates with inmate tendencies."

The sheriff said the only way to completely eliminate the security problem, is to eliminate trustee workers. "We would love to do that, but maintaining a sanitary and healthy environment in a 120-bed jail is a very labor intensive proposition," he explained. "Until we have the funds to hire enough staff to complete these cleaning tasks, we will have to use trustee labor, and we will have to be on our guard constantly."