Milkman accused of smuggling drugs, cellphones into Ohio prison

A longtime milkman for an Ohio prison is accused of delivering more than just dairy.

Ray Adams, an employee of Martins Ferry-based United Dairy Inc., has been accused of smuggling marijuana, tobacco and cellphones hidden inside the milk cartons into Lebanon Correctional Facility.

Prosecutors said authorities at the prison searched the nearly 30,000 half-pint cartons Adams was delivering on Jan. 8 and found the contraband -- including 12 cellphones -- in 30 of them.

Warrant County Prosecutor David Fornshell said Adams was in contact with an inmate who facilitated the deliveries and set up payments. He said Adams made thousands of dollars sneaking the items in over time.

Adams has been a driver with United Dairy for 14 years and a prison milk deliveryman for the past two years, authorities said. Investigators believe the smuggling scheme was dreamed up last August.

Before making deliveries, Adams would meet a contact at a nearby highway gas station and receive substitute milk cartons containing the contraband before entering the prison, Fornshell said. An inmate took it from there.

"It's not being brought in just to be randomly passed out to whoever — 'Hey it's your lucky day, you're one of 30 winners today,'" Fornshell said.

"Somebody on the inside had to be looking for the milk cartons coming in, knowing how they were going to be marked, knowing what day they were coming in," the prosecutor said.

Adams, 50, has not yet entered a plea to charges of conveying drugs and cellphones and remains free on bond. His attorney hasn't returned messages seeking comment.

The family-owned United Dairy said Wednesday that Adam was fired immediately after the charges were filed against him.

"It's just a sad situation all the way around," human resources director Doug Longenette said Wednesday. "We hope our employees would think before they did something like that."

Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith declined to comment because of the pending criminal charges against Adams.

Fornshell said the investigation was ongoing and there could be additional charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang