Wis. county CO arrested for providing alcohol, marijuana to murder suspect
"He got to me," the now former CO said when questioned by investigators about the contraband
The Journal Times, Racine, Wisc.
RACINE — A Racine County Jail correctional officer is facing criminal charges for allegedly providing marijuana and alcohol to an inmate. He has since been fired.
The former CO has been identified as Joseph Michael Ammons of Milwaukee. He has been charged with felony misconduct in public office, felony delivery of marijuana in a jail and two counts of felony delivery of illegal articles to an inmate.
As of Monday afternoon, Ammons was back in the jail, this time as an inmate.
According to a criminal complaint filed Monday, on March 2, Ammons "was acting very suspicious during his shift at the Racine County Jail."
He allegedly once asked to work on a different floor, was told he "could not switch assignments," but then later went to that cell block (2B) anyway and asked the correctional officer on that floor if they "needed assistance," and was told no again.
Ammons then "insisted on doing a guard check of the dayrooms in block 2B," the complaint states, at which point "Ammons went straight to dayroom two and went to cell 11, in the middle of the dayroom, and motioned for the acting CO on the floor to open the cell."
He went into the cell and came out "a few minutes" later, the complaint says. The explanation he gave after the fact was that he saw "a blanket was hanging up," but the floor's correctional officer "knew that was not true as he had performed a guard check not long before this."
A Racine County Sheriff's Office sergeant was called and a shakedown of the cellblock was carried out.
In the cell Ammons had entered, officers reported finding "a bag that looked like Hot Cheetos with a THC sign on the outside" in addition to "a bag of Dank Gummies THC infused," and two other bags of THC-infused gummies.
The Racine County Sheriff's Office, which operates the jail, reported that all of those substances tested positive for a presence of THC and weighed a total of 182.5 grams (6.438 ounces).
Ammons also allegedly provided a Pepsi bottle that smelled of alcohol.
The complaint continues: "Ammons was spoken to about his actions. Ammons first stated he only went to 2B to talk to some of the guys. He eventually stated that he brought in some weed gummies for inmate Donley Carey," who is accused of murdering someone he believed to be an informant.
"Ammons said he knows Carey from the outside due to his relationship with his father," the complaint continues. "Ammons said 'He got to me.' Ammons was asked if anyone threatened him or his family and he said no. He was asked if he brought any weapons into the jail and he said no. Ammons was allowed to exit the jail and turned over his work ID, door access card, computer fob and duty belt."
A deputy reported that he later went to Ammons' residence in Milwaukee, but he was not at home. Later, when a deputy called Ammons and identified himself, Ammons allegedly "immediately hung up the phone."
During a Monday afternoon court hearing, Ammons was ordered to have no contact with Carey and for him to be placed on house arrest with GPS monitoring, with a $120 fee being required to be paid before Ammons would be released from the Racine County Jail. A $1,000 cash bond was also ordered.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. April 20.
The criminal complaint did not state when or how Ammons was taken into custody.
Carey is facing a charge of intentional first-degree homicide related to the shooting death of DeMarcus Anderson on Feb. 25, 2020, at the Sin City Biker Club at the southeast corner of Ninth Street and South Memorial Drive.
Minutes before a jury was to begin deliberations after a trial in Carey's case in January, a mistrial was called when Judge Maureen Martinez found that statements made by Carey's defense attorneys in closing statements violated the rules.
Carey is still in jail. A new jury trial is scheduled to begin June 20.
(c)2022 The Journal Times, Racine, Wisc.