Crittenden County corrections officer arrested after plot to sneak drugs into jail uncovered

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CRITTENDEN COUNTY, Ark. —  A Crittenden County correctional officer and a Memphis man were arrested after officials say they tried to sneak drugs into the Crittenden County Jail.

According to Sheriff Mike Allen authorities were made aware of the plan about a week before Julian Taylor of Memphis brought the drugs into the sheriff’s department. They were able to set up surveillance and catch the 30-year-old slipping the drugs into a trash can in the bathroom.

Several minutes later, officials said Torell Harris, 23, of West Memphis went into the restroom, retrieved the drugs and then made his way back inside the jail.

Both men were taken into custody a short time later.

Harris had only been employed as a correction officer for approximately five months, Allen said.

“How long he may or may not have been smuggling things into our jail is unknown, but I know as of the 7th, he was caught doing it,” Chief Todd Grooms said.

Both were charged with furnishing prohibited articles and possession of a controlled substance.

Crittenden County has dealt with this before. Earlier in 2019, a different officer was caught trying to smuggle drugs into the building.

“Unfortunately in today’s world it happens more than it should. It shouldn’t happen at all, but it happens quite often. We try to be vigilant,” Grooms said.

Officials say they regularly get tips about potential deliveries, and they had even warned Harris multiple times. They claim they they’ll continue to evaluate the best way to keep the facility clean.

The Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office told WREG they have identified a specific inmate that the drugs were going to, and that person will face additional charges as well.

Reporter: Peter Fleischer 

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