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Sheriff: Video showed Kan. county jail deputy make contraband deal

Officials seized a cellphone and charger, marijuana, tobacco, lighter and the suspected synthetic drug K2 from inmates

By Michael Stavola
The Wichita Eagle

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. — A Sedgwick County Jail deputy has been arrested in connection with mistreating an inmate and trafficking contraband into the jail, Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter said Tuesday.

The sheriff’s office said it started to investigate 35-year-old David Cameron after a complaint late last week. On Monday, the sheriff’s office seized a cell phone and charger, marijuana, tobacco, lighter and the suspected synthetic drug K-2 from inmates, Easter said, adding the contraband was all brought into one pod.

Contraband discovered in the jail late last year prompted the sheriff’s office to make changes.

“Pretty much now if there is going to be something introduced ... it is going to have to be someone that is contractor worker in here or one of our own employees,” he said. “We believe we have the one employee that was involved in it.”

After a few cell phones were found within the last two weeks, the sheriff’s office started to investigate and look at surveillance video, he said.

“Through the camera footage, we saw one of the transactions take place,” he said.

The mistreatment of an inmate happened on Feb. 17 and involves an inmate who reported being attacked in his cell by two other inmates, according to Lt. Benjamin Blick.

“Cameron was working in the pod during the attack and opened the door to the victim inmate’s cell,” Blick wrote in an email.

Cameron has been with the sheriff’s office since June 2019. He has been suspended without pay during the investigation. The sheriff’s office is waiting on cell phone providers and phone applications for information “used for some of the transactions” at the jail, he said. It could take up to three months.

“I remember when this young man was in the academy and I went out and gave a speech in reference to ethics, integrity, if you commit a crime, those type of things, what will happen,” Easter said, adding he “must not have paid much attention ... I don’t know what drives people other than the incentive of money.”

In December, the sheriff’s office announced that mail with liquefied K-2 on it was being sent to inmates at the jail. Seven inmates had a bad reaction to the K-2 within 24 hours. The sheriff’s office investigation into the K-2 turned up 70 sheets of suspicious paper with a potential jail value of around $35,000, the sheriff’s office said. Paper with liquefied methamphetamine on it was also found.

The jail has since switched its mail service, now allowing inmates to only receive a scanned version of what was sent to them.


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