VILLE PLATTE, La. (KLFY) — The Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) has arrested inmates after finding new ways to sneak drugs into the jail.
Sheriff Charles Guillory told News 10 that “They can buy minutes on the phone and use the phone at any time they want. They would organize a drop-off.”
Inmates would have their contacts place the drugs in various areas around the courthouse, including trash cans and bushes. When trustees would come to clear out the trash cans, they can simply pick up the drugs and hide them on their persons.
EPSO has also found traces of drugs on letters and other paper items sent to the inmates.
“Even money, or paper, they spray it with fentanyl or heroin even bug spray. They come back in and they smoke the money. So now we don’t give the original letter anymore,” Guillory said.
Guillory said that deputies noticed inmates may be under the influence when their moods suddenly change.
“You can tell with the inmates when their moods change, we have a problem. With others that we felt were using drugs, we drug tested them and they were positive. So then we start looking at cameras that we have all over the courthouse,” Guillory told News 10.
Through a review of videos and interviewing inmates, EPSO found inmates Ricky Fontenot, Chandler Matte, and Chase Gordy to be responsible for bringing the drugs into the jail.
Two additional arrests have been made for the suspects that dropped off the drugs around the courthouse, their identities have not yet been released.
As inmates continue to find different approaches to get illegal items into the jail, Guillory said that security checks have to evolve too.
“You have to be tenacious to continue to do your job the correct way, and sometimes they get more ingenious like putting illegal drugs in our body cavities and that’s what they do too.”
Sheriff Guillory said that the case is still under investigation with more arrests likely to be made. He is also working with warden Connie Zerangue to improve searches on inmates as they exit and enter the jail to prevent these incidents from occurring again.
Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.