A correctional officer is facing three criminal charges after she allegedly tried to smuggle in marijuana, tobacco and other contraband.
Tamikta Russell, 34, of Jackson was allegedly trying to smuggle the contraband in three burritos inside a Tupperware container at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County.
Russell posted a $20,000 bond Saturday from the Rankin County jail. She was arrested Wednesday on charges of possession of marijuana, introduction of contraband and possession of tobacco.
"This arrest is a result of the Mississippi Department of Corrections' intensified efforts to reduce contraband," Commissioner Christopher B. Epps said. "You would be surprised by the different ways in which people try to bring in contraband. That's why we must always be alert and ready".
"Not only are people bringing in illegal items on their persons, but also in their food," Epps continued. "And, they are tossing contraband over the fence, but the recent netting we put up is already proving to be effective."
Russell was arrested after a search upon reporting for duty. The 6.40 ounces of tobacco, 48.7 grams of marijuana and other contraband were inside plastic bags concealed in the food.
Russell has been working for MDOC since July 1, 2013.
If convicted under state law 47-5-198 as she is charged on the marijuana possession charge, she faces a maximum $25,000 fine, between three and seven years in prison and would not be eligible for probation, parole, a suspended sentence, earned time allowance or any other reduction of sentence.
Under state law 47-7-193, introduction of contraband into a correctional facility is a felony punishable by three to 15 years in prison, a maximum $25,000 fine, or both.
Russell also faces a misdemeanor punishment of a maximum one year in prison, a $1,000 fine, or both on the tobacco possession charge, based on state law 47-5-192
"We do not expect any more arrests," said Sean K. Smith, director of the Corrections Investigation Division. "Our preliminary investigation shows she acted alone when she brought in the contraband."
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