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Jail officer admits bringing contraband

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GREENFIELD — A Hancock County jail officer has been charged with trafficking after he admitted he brought cigarettes into the facility for inmates, officials said.

Seth Gibson, who has been a jailer for just over a year, resigned from his position last week, and he is now charged with a Class A misdemeanor, according to court records.

Sheriff’s Department officials said they learned Gibson brought contraband into the jail during an unrelated investigation after an inmate in the facility was found to be impaired. He tested positive for opiates, leading investigators to interview inmates about where the drugs came from, police said.

The inmate admitted his girlfriend had brought drugs into the lobby of the jail and left them in a bathroom for him. Because the inmate was part of the trusty worker program, he had access to the bathroom, which he and other inmates are in charge of cleaning.

While that investigation was ongoing, another inmate admitted that Gibson sometimes brought cigarettes and left them lying out for inmates, court documents state.

Gibson denied the allegation until investigators informed him they caught him on surveillance video, court documents said. Gibson then admitted he had brought cigarettes in four or fives times, court documents state.

A warrant for Gibson’s arrest has been issued, and he was expected to surrender today, police said. He had not been arrested as of press time Thursday.

This is the second instance of a worker smuggling items into the jail in the last year.

Last summer, jail cook Donna Leavitt was fired after she admitted she brought a case of soda into the facility at the request of an inmate. The carton the soda was in also is believed to have contained tobacco, morphine pills and methadone, a synthetic opioid, unbeknownst to Leavitt.

Police said they don’t believe Leavitt, who was later convicted of trafficking with an inmate, knew there were drugs in the carton.

An initial hearing for Gibson has not yet been scheduled, according to court records. His bond has been set at $400.

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