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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

15 prison guards busted in South Florida drug case



UPDATE: There are now six more corrections workers who were arrested in the sting, bringing the total to 21.

Fifteen prison guards were arrested today on federal drug and misconduct charges after a sharp-eyed warden at Glades Correctional Institution detected an inordinate amount of cocaine at the prison.

Former warden Chris Douglas notified the Department of Corrections inspector general in December 2007. The inspector general told the Glades County Sheriff and the FBI.

The investigation soon widened into the privately run South Bay Correctional Facility. In the end, 11 Glades officers and four South Bay officers were arrested and charged with a variety of crimes ranging from federal cocaine charges to state charges of bribing a public official, unlawfully introducing contraband into a prison and unlawful compensation, said DOC spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger.

Known as “Operation Blind Justice,” the investigation was a 26-month sting operation between the DOC, the FBI, the Palm Beach and St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Offices, and the U.S. and state attorney’s offices.

The U.S. Attorney's Office plans to hold a news conference in West Palm Beach today. For a list of the people arrested, check below the jump.

Department of Corrections Employees:
Title/Name   Mo/Yr birth     Hire Date    Salary
Correctional Officer (CO) Latess Hill   5/82 12/17/04 $33,609
CO Jentle Chatman 8/82 3/25/05    $33,609
Sgt. Zedra Warner    9/77 11/7/03    $37,467
CO Belinda Brown    6/75 9/26/03    $35,027
CO Tanika Wright    10/83    1/13/06    $34,649
CO Samantha Wilkerson 2/82 1/30/04    $35,027
CO Kenyetta Biggs   11/84    10/5/07    $33,307
CO Melvin Brown     3/85 2/11/05    $33,609
CO Marcus Pitre   6/82 1/5/07 $33,307
Sgt. Takisha Golden     11/76    4/2/04 $36,467
Sgt Alanda Shaw 5/71 12/11/98 $37,645
South Bay Correctional Facility Employees:

Elisha Allen
Marion Ellison
Shereon Dukes
Natasha Beckles

Marc Caputo

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:19pm]


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