Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Hernando County corrections officer pleads guilty to drug charges

BROOKSVILLE — A former Hernando County corrections officer who promised to deliver drugs to inmates at the county lockup pleaded guilty Friday to three drug-related charges.

Circuit Judge Jack Springstead sentenced Charles M. Dunn, 27, to 13 months in state prison.

Dunn offered to deliver oxycodone pills to inmates for a $500 fee, according to arrest reports. He later denied ever giving inmates drugs but claimed it is easy to get illegal narcotics into the jail because staffers don't make thorough checks.

The Spring Hill resident faced a maximum of 35 years in prison for solicitation to traffic oxycodone, the sale of oxycodone and using a cell phone to facilitate a felony, said Assistant State Attorney Erin Corcoran Daly.

He left his fate up to the judge, who gave him the minimum guideline punishment, which is Springstead's standard policy.

Dunn is no longer employed at the privately run facility, and the circumstances surrounding his departure were not immediately available, a jail official said.

Dunn told the judge he was subject to involuntary commitment under the state's 2008 Baker Act for drug addiction and mental problems. It's unclear whether jail officials knew about the incident.

Authorities arrested Dunn on Feb. 20 after setting up an undercover sting operation.

It started when an unidentified source told the Hernando County Sheriff's Office about illegal drugs at the jail, which is managed by Corrections Corporation of America, a Tennessee-based company.

Dunn, who went by the nickname "D," coordinated his potential sales with friends and relatives outside the jail.

In this case, he offered to sell 42 pills for $870 to an undercover officer and deliver 22 of them at a later date to inmates at the jail, arrest reports state.

Dunn also sold two of the prescription pain pills to the officer for $10 each when they met at the Hess gas station at the intersection of Mariner and Northcliffe boulevards in Spring Hill. Deputies arrested him nearby.

In an interview with investigators, Dunn said he has never given drugs to inmates and planned to just pocket the money.

But he said jail employees could sneak drugs into the jail by concealing them in lunch bags and personal property. He said "no one checks in depth for illegal narcotics," reports state.

Assistant warden Orlando Rodriguez declined to comment on Dunn's case. But he said the jail policies include searching all employees as they come to work.

Staffers must pass through a metal detector and put all belongings through an X-ray machine. Lunch bags are supposed to be clear plastic.

Rodriguez said jail management also conducts unannounced searches and random drug tests.

John Frank can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 754-6114.

Former Hernando County corrections officer pleads guilty to drug charges 07/24/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 24, 2009 5:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police seek public's help as they investigate third death in Seminole Heights


    TAMPA — Police are seeking the public's help in their investigation of three suspicious deaths in southeast Seminole Heights during the past two weeks.

    Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan addresses reporters about the latest suspicious death in southeast Seminole Heights Thursday night. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL | Times]
  2. Listen: Soldier's widow shares her call with Trump


    Natasha De Alencar had just returned home on April 12 after making T-shirts and pillowcases in her husband's memory when the Army casualty assistance officer told her there was someone on the phone for her. It was President Donald Trump.

    Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar was killed during a firefight with Islamic State fighters in eastern Afghanistan on April 8, 2017. His widow, Natasha De Alencar has shared the condolence call she had with President Donald Trump on April 12. [Image from video via Washington Post]
  3. Superiority complex: USF continues to battle schedule, expectations


    TAMPA — His voice, a perpetually scratchy bellow, betrays conviction. USF coach Charlie Strong has been asked if he believes he has the 16th-best team in America. Hesitation doesn't precede his response. Resolution fuels it.

    Does USF deserve its No. 16 national ranking? Coach Charlie Strong says there's no doubt. He expects that his Bulls can match up with any Division I-A program. (Octavio Jones, Times)
  4. Guest column: Girl Scouts designed to help girls excel on their own terms


    This column was written to coincide with the International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11. It comes on the heels of an announcement from the Boy Scouts of America that the organization will begin accepting girls.

    Girl Scouts like these, earning a patch at the Medical Center of Trinity earlier this year, are exposed to the best leadership experience in the world, says Jessica Muroff, who runs the organization locally. [Times files]
  5. Recall petition targets two Madeira Beach commissioners

    Local Government

    MADEIRA BEACH — A petition to recall two commissioners who won their seats in a highly contested election in March began circulating in the city last week.

    John Douthirt