Pills smuggled into Shelby County Jail were fake OxyContin - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Pills smuggled into Shelby County Jail were fake OxyContin

(Photo Source: SCSO) (Photo Source: SCSO)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

Deputy jailers working at the Shelby County Jail sold pills to inmates, but those pills turned out to be placebos, according to Sheriff Bill Oldham.

Anthony Thomas, Brian Gammer, Marcus Green and Torriano Vaughn are facing federal charges and time behind bars after investigators say they came up with a plot to turn a profit by sneaking OxyContin inside the jail.

Court records say they would meet someone outside the jail, get the OxyContin pills, take the money, and smuggle the drugs inside the jail to the inmates. Investigators say inmates and deputy jailers hatched the plan sometime last year.

"That's something we can't tolerate, and we won't tolerate," Sheriff Oldham said at a press conference Monday morning. "What concerns me is we have individuals who are willing to violate their oath of office over monetary gain"

All four men are off the job awaiting trial on federal drug charges.

"Quite frankly, as the indictment alleges, they were simply drug dealers looking to make extra cash by bringing drugs into 201 Poplar," U.S. attorney Edward Stanton III said. "The same place where they were sworn--took an Oath to protect contraband from coming into."

A Grand Jury indicted all four jailers Friday, March 20 and they're expected back in federal court Wednesday.

If convicted they could each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

At Monday's news conference, investigators revealed that the pills smuggled into the jail were not actually OxyContin as the inmates hoped.

"It's placebo OxyContin," Sheriff Oldham said. "It's actually packaged like OxyContin, looks like OxyContin, but it contains a placebo."

Either way, Sheriff Oldham says rule breaking will not be tolerated.

"Additional technology will be utilized as well as random individual searches and use of our drugs dogs," Sheriff Oldham said. "All of those things that we can do to prevent that from getting in."

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