Inmates among latest charged in Fla. jail drug smuggling investigation

The ongoing investigation revealed the inmates had help from those who had access inside and outside the facility: the corrections deputies

By Hannah Winston
Palm Beach Post

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The continuing probe into allegations of corrections deputies assisting drug smuggling inside the Palm Beach County jail turned to a new target Thursday. Three of the latest men charged currently reside in the detention center, according to court documents.

The new charges mark the first time investigators have arrested current inmates for coordinating the drug smuggling.

An aerial view of the Palm Beach County jail.
An aerial view of the Palm Beach County jail. (Photo/Bill Ingram of Palm Beach Post via TNS)

Travis Stubbs, 27, Patrick Thomas, 31, and Greg Senser, 39, are charged with conspiring to introduce contraband into a detention facility.

Stubbs and Patrick Thomas were in jail already on racketeering charges related to the Firehouse Clique, an alleged neighborhood gang law enforcement officials say is violent and primarily based in Riviera Beach and West Palm Beach.

Senser is back in the Palm Beach County jail after his second-degree murder conviction was overturned in 2018. Senser is accused of nearly decapitating Jason Barnett in 2010. He said the attack was in self-defense, according to court documents.

Investigators allege the three men "were the primary individuals controlling and handling the contraband" once inside the jail.

But, the on-going investigations reveals, the men had help from both people outside the jail as well as from those who have access inside and outside the facility: the corrections deputies.

So far, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office corrections deputies Samuel Pierre, 28, Jose Gutierrez, 35, and Karl Kirkland, 56, have been charged in the investigation.

At this time, it's unclear if any other corrections deputies will be charged in the investigation.

Two additional arrests on Wednesday, those of Christopher Thomas, 33, and Curtisha Ambrister, 23, were also made in connection to the on-going investigation into drugs in the county jails. Investigators allege the pair, separately, helped coordinate with corrections deputies and inmates inside.

In 2020, between the months of June and November, investigators said "the narcotics activity inside the jail was extremely active."

The sheriff's office said Stubbs and Patrick Thomas would make calls coordinating drugs to be delivered to the jail. One of the main people they would call was Christopher Thomas, a Lake Park resident who was also charged this week with smuggling contraband into the jail.

It's unclear if Patrick Thomas and Christopher Thomas are related due to redactions in the report, but detectives allege Christopher is a close associate of the Firehouse Clique.

Investigators said there are at least eight reported times Christopher Thomas delivered packages to corrections employees. The specific employees are not listed in each instances in the report, but corrections deputy Samuel Pierre is noted by investigators as a deputy who supplied narcotics in the jail dorm where Stubbs, Patrick Thomas and Senser reside.

The sheriff's office said Pierre made anywhere from $200 to $1,500 to bring narcotics into the jail.

In September, Stubbs, Patrick Thomas and Senser were caught with lighters and several drugs in their dorm, the sheriff's office said.

In addition to the three inmates and and the three deputies facing charges, several others have been arrested in connection to smuggling drugs into the jail. They include Lunzer Luzincourt, 30, Robert Simmons, 34, Shannon Smith, 27, and Isabel Rosario Demanche, 30. Investigators allege these individuals have helped coordinate delivery of the drugs from outside the jail, like Christopher Thomas and Curtisha Ambrister.

Ambrister, of Riviera Beach, is accused of allegedly bringing drugs and payments hidden in pizza boxes to the jail. She reportedly handed off the items to corrections deputy Karl Kirkland in March, according to investigators.

Ambrister is related to a man in the jail that helped coordinate the exchange with a fellow inmate. The Palm Beach Post is not naming the men because they have not been charged at this time, records show.


(c)2021 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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