2 plead guilty for contraband in jail

Published 2:54 am Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Two of the three inmates arrested in March for bringing drugs into the Covington County Jail have pleaded guilty to promoting prison contraband.

Sheriff Dennis Meeks and Jail Administrator Alan Syler said Tuesday that on March 3, corrections officers and patrol deputies from the Covington County Sheriff’s Office performed a search of the A block of the county jail.

During the search of cell A-13, a bag containing marijuana and several bags containing what was believed to be methamphetamine were located by Sgt. Jeff Daniel.

Darian Hamilton

Syler was called to the cell before the items were removed, he said.

Syler recovered the items and contacted 22nd Judicial Drug Task Force Agent Josh Hudson.

Hudson responded to the jail and used a field test to verify that a white granular substance in the bags was methamphetamine.
The bags of methamphetamine and the bags of marijuana were turned over to Hudson.

The cell housed inmates Denarieya Letrex Smith, Leon Jamal Marshall and Darian Tarvaughn Hamilton and all were present when the cell was searched.

The men were removed from the cell and taken outside the facility, and no other inmate had access to the cell.

Leon-Jamal Marshall

Corrections officers also found a cell phone with charger, parts of another cell phone, a sock filled with a homemade shank and tobacco.

The case was turned over to the DTF.

Each was charged with promoting prison contraband, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana second degree and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Marshall and Hamilton have pleaded guilty to promoting prison contraband, Syler said.

Marshal received a 15-year sentence under the habitual offender felony act, and Hamilton received a six-year straight sentence.

Smith has not plead guilty or been found guilty.

Syler credits his staff for finding the contraband, and said they were doing an excellent job working to keep contraband out of the jail.

“They are doing a great job catching it before it goes into the jail,” he said. “They are heavily monitoring the camera system, watching people coming in and out of the jail and cars coming onto the site.”

Syler said there have been people who have placed drugs and other contraband on the outside perimeter of the jail, in the dumpster and many other places.

He and Meeks have a strong message for those who try to sneak contraband into the jail – you will be caught and you will be charged.

Syler said tobacco and drugs are the biggest items of contraband coming into the jail.

“Anything they can get their hands on,” he said. “But our jail staff has done a fantastic job and there is not nearly as much making it into the jail. They are catching the majority of it.”