Prison Guards Accused Of Smuggling Pot, Wire Cutters Into Lock-Up

By Keri Blakinger 11/12/18

Three female guards are all facing charges of attempting to furnish prisoners with contraband.

prison guard accused of smuggling marijuana and wire cutters into South Carolina prison

A trio of prison visitors could end up on the other side of the razor wire after they were arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle pot and cell phones into a pair of South Carolina lock-ups. 

The three women arrested—Yolanda Whitaker, Yvanda Maria Hardy, and Carmen Bess Jenkins—are all facing charges of attempting to furnish a prisoner with contraband, according to The State.

The set of collars came just days after one prison guard was hit with a similar contraband charge and another accused of trying to smuggle oxycodone and MDMA into a Bennettsville facility, according to the Columbia newspaper.

The first of the visitor arrests came on Nov. 2, nine months after officials say Whitaker tried sneaking 20 cell phones, a pair of wire cutters, 3.5 pounds of tobacco, lighters and rolling papers into the medium-security prison Kershaw Correctional Institution. It’s not clear who the intended recipient was, but officials say she allegedly stuffed the verboten goods into a speaker box she mailed into the facility. 

A day after Whitaker’s arrest, Hardy was collared for trying to bring weed into McCormick Correctional Institution. In addition to the contraband charge, she was hit with one count of manufacturing or possession of drugs and one count of conspiracy to introduce drugs. 

The day after that, Jenkins was arrested at the same facility after she allegedly tried smuggling liquid perfume and 142.9 grams of pot into the prison. She faced the same set of charges as Hardy, but it’s not immediately clear where she tried hiding the smuggled goods, which were wrapped in black electrical tape. 

The earlier arrests of officers were both announced in October. In the first case, Williams Suggs was hit with a series of charges after he allegedly stuffed a package of 40 oxycodone in his groin, along with 65 MDMA pills, 19 cigarettes, and a lighter. In his car, prison officers discovered 450 grams of synthetic marijuana, authorities said at the time.

Then, on Oct. 29, prison officials announced the arrest of Ebonynisha Monique Casby, a Lieber Correctional guard who allegedly smuggled contraband to an inmate she was having sex with. It’s not clear what forbidden goods she was hoping to sneak into the facility, but she was also dinged for bringing a gun into the prison.

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Keri Blakinger is a former drug user and current reporter living in Texas. She covers breaking news for the Houston Chronicle and previously worked for the New York Daily News and the Ithaca Times. She has written about drugs and criminal justice for the Washington Post, Salon, Quartz and more. She loves dogs and is not impressed by rodeo food. Find Keri on LinkedIn and Twitter.