Deputies: Guard Sold Cell Phone To Inmate

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Cell phones in our prisons has been a growing issue in our state for years, well now as it turns out; county jails aren't immune from the problem either.

Valshawn Frazier an officer at the Richland County jail. She turned herself in after deputies discovered she sold a cell phone to an inmate.

"That allows an inmate to communicate with the outside world and that is not what you want," said Captain Chris Cowan.

Cowan says after a random search in the jail, they discovered that an inmate had a cell phone and a charger.

They say Frazier brought the phone into the jail which is against the rules for jail employees.

Deputies say she sold a cell phone and charger to an inmate for $125.

"They do routine searches through the facility and it's just one of many procedures that they have to find contraband, to find illegal substances and anything that could be going wrong, they have a system in place to deal with that."

Former Contraband officer Robert Johnson knows all to well the dangers of having a cell phone behind bars.

Sean Echols was paid by a fellow gang member to kill Johnson.

He was shot six times at his home in Sumter.

"Some of it is the officers, we have dirty officers and we need to make them pay when we catch them. We had one officer and when we got on his trail he told us before he left he probably made about $50,000 from bringing stuff to inmates," said Johnson.

Frazier has been charged with misconduct and fired from her job.

There is a bill in the state senate that would make providing contraband like cell phones a felony.


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