Guards accepted hundreds of dollars in bribes for smuggling contraband cellphones, cigarettes and drugs into the Jackson County Detention Center, according to federal charges unsealed yesterday after an early morning raid at the jail, the Kansas City Star reports. Two guards, a jail inmate and an alleged fixer on the outside were charged in two separate schemes. The cost of smuggling cellphones into the downtown jail ranged from $100 to $500. For cigarettes, it was as much as $25 a pack. In the first scheme, one guard allegedly smuggled in a phone and offered to grant a detainee who was acting as a government informant the exclusive right to receive smuggled narcotics, cigarettes and phones on his floor. The guard’s proposed fee was allegedly $2,500 a month.
In a separate scheme, a guard and the inmate arranged with the alleged fixer to smuggle in contraband, prosecutors said. The guard was pregnant with the inmate’s child at the time. Charges against the four were unsealed after 200 law enforcement officers from multiple agencies arrived on buses outside the center and searched it for more than four hours. The arrests are the latest outgrowth of a two-year federal investigation that initially focused on guards’ use of excessive force on inmates. Five former guards were accused of brutalizing prisoners in those cases.