An alleged drug-smuggling operation into the Claiborne County Jail has been broken up and six people arrested following an investigation by the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Sheriff David Ray, officers began receiving information about attempts to conspire to smuggle illegal drugs and contraband into the Claiborne County Jail.
A news release from the CCSO states that after an approximate two-week investigation the Investigative Division, along with corrections officers, charged several suspects with criminal conspiracy, introduction of contraband into a penal facility and other additional charges.
The investigation led to the mothers of two inmates, who were also charged and arrested. The mothers charged are Wanda Eloise Gibson, 62, and Elaine Marie Hopson, 56.
Also charged were inmates Benjamin Wayne Hopson, 29, Christopher Levi Ramsey, 29, and Anthony Wayne Dean, 38.
Illegal suboxone strips and other contraband items were among the items recovered, the release states.
Dan Lawrence Rice, 45, was also charged and arrested. He was not incarcerated at time of the violation but was arrested on other charges of possession of a schedule III controlled substance for sale or delivery, violation of the Drug Free School Zone Act, criminal trespassing and evading arrest.
“The Sheriff’s Department and corrections officers will continue to monitor all efforts of anyone who may attempt smuggling items into the Claiborne County Jail and they will be identified and prosecuted to the fullest,” Ray stated.
All the defendants will appear in Claiborne County General Sessions Court on Dec. 15. If convicted, the defendants could face anywhere from three to 15 years in state prison.