A former Claiborne County Jail corrections officer pleaded guilty on Jan. 23 to acting as a drug ‘mule’ by carrying contraband into the facility on behalf of inmates.
Terry Cody Hill, 24, was indicted late last year by the grand jury for official misconduct, introduction of contraband into a penal facility and possession of a schedule III controlled substance.
An incident report, penned on Oct. 28 by CCSO Detective Bradley Duncan, states Hill was intercepted upon entering the Claiborne Justice Center prior to his work shift.
Duncan, CCSO Detective Tim Shrout and Captain Larry Martin conducted an interview with the former officer.
“During the interview, the defendant (Hill) stated to the investigators that he had on two occasions met with a relative of Joshua ‘Trucker’ Barnett, an inmate at the Claiborne County Jail, to receive cash payments for the delivery of narcotic drugs to Barnett in the jail,” states the incident report, in part.
According to Duncan, the corrections officer had been unsuccessful in delivering the narcotics to Barnett on both those occasions. However, Hill apparently admitted to the investigators that he had delivered a package he believed to be drugs to John Collins, another inmate of the Claiborne County Jail.
During the interview, Hill apparently denied having illegal drugs on his person. However, he was later caught on video surveillance taking ‘something’ from his boot and placing it into the trash can during a break in the interview, according to the initial incident report.
Hill admitted to bringing Subutex into the facility when confronted with the package retrieved from the trash can, which was wrapped with masking tape. Hill claimed he had smuggled the narcotic for his own personal use, according to Duncan, in his report.
Hill pleaded guilty to official misconduct and introduction of contraband into a penal facility. The possession charge was apparently dropped during the course of the plea hearing.
Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton sentenced Hill to three years of unsupervised probation. A judicial diversion hearing will occur on Feb. 27, meaning Hill could be given extra time to get his ‘house in order’ prior to serving his sentence.
As part of his plea agreement, Hill must pay court costs in the amount of at least $100 per month, beginning on Feb. 24.
Both counts in his plea agreement are felonies. Introduction of contraband into a penal facility is a class C felony and official misconduct is a class E felony, according to Tennessee Code Annotated.
Reach Jan Runions at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @scribeCP.