Drug Charges Put Guard Behind Bars!

Drug Charges Put Guard Behind Bars!
Posted by FoM on August 12, 1999 at 11:14:50 PT
Brought pot to county prison, officials say 
Source: Intelligencer Journal 
Police arrested a guard at Lancaster County Prison when he arrived for work Wednesday and charged him with bringing cocaine and marijuana to one of the inmates.
Prison officials and detectives from the Lancaster County Drug Task Force were waiting inside the prison when Shaun Lee Barnett, 28, showed up for his shift about 3:40 p.m., Warden Vincent Guarini said.The detectives, acting on information they received from sources inside and outside the prison, were armed with a search warrant and found small amounts of marijuana and cocaine, and cigarette rolling papers.Police said Barnett, 250 W. King St., admitted he planned to give the drugs to an inmate."He was very cooperative," Guarini said."He did admit what he was doing."Guarini fired Barnett, who had been a corrections officer for two years, shortly after his arrest."This is a guy that spit in the face of all the other corrections officers, as well as the public," Guarini said.Guarini said the key to the arrest was the help prison officials and detectives received from many people, including inmates."It was our version of citizen cooperation," he said."We had been receiving information and rumors for a while. We gave that information to the task force and it all came to fruition today. We got information he was bringing something into the prison today."After his arrest, Barnett was taken to the Lancaster city police station for processing and was charged with bringing contraband into the prison and possession with intent to deliver, police said. District Justice Richard Musser set Barnett's bail at $15,000.After the brief arraignment proceeding, Barnett stood quietly and looked down as two county correction officers fastened a leather belt around his waist. His cuffed hands were then locked to the belt.The officers, gripping the back of the belt, led the suspect across East Chestnut Street and into a van.Barnett was taken to a prison outside the county.Guarini declined to disclose the location of the prison facility to protect the safety of his former employee.If convicted of the contraband charge, Barnett will face a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison, the warden said. Pubdate: August 12, 1999Intelligencer Journal 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on August 14, 1999 at 08:45:26 PT:
Trooper Arrested On Drug Charges
The Philadelphia Daily NewsAugust 14, 1999 Jim SmithDaily News Staff Writer Antonio Romero Jr., a Pennsylvania State Police trooper for nearly 11 years, had been putting handcuffs on suspected drug dealers for some time now.Yesterday, Romero was the one wearing handcuffs in a federal courtroom in Philadelphia.Federal authorities say Romero, 32, of Leithgow Street near George, stole marijuana that was supposed to be taken to a state police evidence room, and resold the drug through a cousin.Romero also allegedly allowed a major Colombian cocaine dealer to escape from State Police custody last year in expectation of a big payoff.Defense attorney Rocco C. Cipparone Jr. said Romero "vigorously denies" any wrongdoing and plans to "fight these charges head-on."Romero was one of three troopers on a detail to guard admitted Colombian drug-trafficker Luis Mario Rojas last year. Rojas was promising to rat on others and was being kept at a local hotel instead of prison.Rojas escaped on Sep. 12, 1998, after going into his hotel bathroom to take a long shower. He hasn't been seen since.After the escape, an informant told the FBI about Romero's alleged marijuana thefts. Sources also implicated him in Rojas' escape. Depending on which informants the FBI talked to, the trooper was expecting a big payoff - either $3 million or $100,000 to $200,000.To get evidence of the trooper's guilt, the FBI recently concocted a reverse sting.An FBI snitch posed as an associate of the escapee and delivered 22 pounds of sham cocaine to Romero's cousin, Jose L. Davila, who allegedly had been selling the stolen marijuana. The snitch claimed the cocaine was the payoff for the escape.Davila, 31, of the 4900 block of Rorer Street, a self-employed mechanic, was arrested Wednesday when he accepted the sham drug shipment at his garage on Mentor Street near A Street. He quickly agreed to rat out his cousin and let FBI agents secretly record a telephone chat with Romero in which the officer told Davila to sell the drugs.Romero was arrested Thursday night while on duty in Reading.He was suspended without pay. He remained in jail pending an Aug. 23 bail hearing.Romero could face at least 10 years in prison without chance of parole, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ewald Zittlau.Send e-mail to smithjm© 1998 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 13, 1999 at 19:50:26 PT:
Related Article: Guard Accused of Smuggling Pot 
Friday, August 13, 1999Dispatch State Service, Ohio A prison guard was caught smuggling marijuana into the Ross Correctional Institution during a surprise search Wednesday, the State Highway Patrol said.Michael O. Fortner, 21, of Oak Hill in Jackson County, is charged with conveying drugs into a prison, a fourth-degree felony that carries a maximum 18-month prison term and $5,000 fine.He was released on $5,000 recognizance bond after appearing yesterday in Chillicothe Municipal Court. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 24.The patrol was using drug-sniffing dogs to check prison workers for contraband when Fortner was arrested. Troopers said they found marijuana concealed in his shoe and in the waistband of his pants when he tried to enter the prison.Sgt. Gary Lewis said the patrol conducts random checks at state prisons.Copyright © 1999, The Columbus Dispatch 
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