KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two corrections officers were among four people arrested in a contraband smuggling operation at the county jail in Kansas City, Missouri, after roughly 200 law enforcers searched the facility early Monday.
The U.S. attorney's office said the indictment naming Jackson County Detention Center corrections officers Andrew Lamonte Dickerson, 26, and Jalee Caprice Fuller, 29, was unsealed after their arrest and the search. Also indicted last week in the bribery scheme are Carlos Laron Hughley, a 32-year-old inmate, and Janikkia Lashay Carter, a 36-year-old friend of Fuller and Hughley.
Prosecutors said in a news release that Hughley is purportedly the father of Fuller's recently born child. Dickerson is no longer employed with the county, and Fuller is on unpaid administrative leave.
The hourslong search was so large that law enforcement officers from the FBI and several other agencies were bused to the jail. An FBI investigation that began two years ago focused on excessive use of force by guards on prisoners before expanding to other areas. Previous searches uncovered drugs, weapons and other contraband.
Don Ledford, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, said the suspects don't yet have attorneys who can speak on their behalf. He said prosecutors are seeking to have Dickerson held without bond and that Hughley isn't eligible to be released on bond because he's a jail inmate. Fuller has been released on bond, and Carter has been granted bond, but federal officials aren't releasing her until they determine whether other municipalities have outstanding arrest warrants against her.
Hughley had been awaiting trial on charges of domestic assault, armed criminal action, resisting arrest and multiple counts of distributing controlled substances.
According to the affidavit, an inmate's relative who was acting as an informant paid bribes and provided cellphones and cigarettes that Dickerson and Fuller smuggled into the facility in May and June. The contraband then was delivered to an inmate who also was acting as an informant, the affidavit said.
The affidavit said the relative paid Dickerson $500 to smuggle two packs of contraband cigarettes, a cellphone and a phone charger into the jail. Dickerson is accused of placing the items on the bed of the informant inmate and asking if he would be interested in paying a monthly fee of $2,500 in exchange for being the only inmate on that floor of the jail to receive contraband cigarettes, narcotics and telephones.
Separately, Hughley told the informant inmate that he could get contraband inside. The informant relative then coordinated with Carter and someone else, paying $300 and providing a cellphone and charger. Fuller was seen on surveillance video delivering a paper bag containing the phone and 15 Xanax pills though a cell block door hole to the informant inmate, according to the affidavit.
Jackson County Executive Frank White Jr. said jail officials are cooperating with the investigation and that millions have been spent on safety and security upgrades.
"We have dedicated and well-trained associates working hard inside the jail each and every day, but we must hold those who are breaking the rules accountable if we want to make forward progress," White said in a statement. "We will not tolerate such reckless behavior."