published Friday, February 22nd, 2013

3 Jackson County, Ala., inmates charged in contraband case

The Jackson County, Ala., Sheriff's Office charged three inmates Wednesday night after allegedly finding smuggled tobacco and pills inside their jail cell.

Officers charged Hailey Holloway, 35, of Flat Rock, Ala., with possession of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence and two counts of promoting prison contraband. They charged Rachel Dean, 21, of Horton, Ala., and Pamela Mason, 29, of Scottsboro, Ala., with possession of a controlled substance and two counts of promoting prison contraband.

According to a news release, Holloway brought tobacco and alprazolam pills into her cell, which she shares with Dean and Mason. Alprazolam, the generic name for the drug Xanax, is intended to treat anxiety disorders. Holloway allegedly smuggled the drugs after returning from her work release program.

"I can tell you this: She's no longer on work release," Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen said Thursday.

On Wednesday night, according to the news release, Corrections Deputy Genna Brown walked into the women's cell and found them trying to flush some of the contraband down their toilet. Harnen said Brown did not receive a tip before going into the cell. He doesn't know if she was making standard bed checks or if she saw something on a security camera that piqued her interest.

Officers are trying to figure out who gave Holloway the drugs, and charges will follow any discovery they make. Harnen doesn't know when Holloway returned from work release, but whenever it was officers strip-searched her. That's a jail policy, he said.

But correction officers are not allowed to perform cavity searches, and that makes finding contraband more difficult. In particular, Harnen said, this is problematic with women.

It's common for inmates to break the rules, he said, especially if they can get their hands on tobacco while on the outside. The jail is a nonsmoking facility.

Also, Harnen said, "Anytime someone leaves the jail, there's always a chance they'll bring dope back."

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