(02/13/2007)
Three corrections officers at the Central Regional Jail in Braxton County have been charged with bringing tobacco and drugs into the jail for inmates.

State Police arrested the officers last week at their homes in Nicholas and Braxton counties.

All three have been charged with conspiracy.

Two have been charged with illegally bringing items into the jail and selling them for profit, according to State Police.

The officers were arraigned by Braxton County Magistrate Nancy Means and released on bond.

Cassandra Lynn Putnam, 24, of Mt. Nebo, is accused of bringing about a half a gram of cocaine into the jail and giving it to another corrections officer, also bringing at least three plastic cigarette lighters to the jail and selling them to inmates.

Trevor Lee Ward, 37, of Mt. Nebo, is accused of bringing cans of snuff and selling it to inmates. A can of snuff went for about $100, police said.

The third officer, Okey Ferrell Smith of Gassaway, was charged with one count of conspiracy for allegedly bringing packages of loose cigarette tobacco into the jail and selling it to inmates.

Putnam resigned from her job while the investigation was progressing. The other two officers are currently on suspension.

The correctional system has had difficulty keeping officers who receive sub-standard pay.


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