Ind. county CO arrested, accused of providing keys to inmates

The officer was arrested within hours of investigators receiving a tip


By Aprile Rickert
The Evening News and the Tribune
        
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — A former Clark County corrections officer is facing felony charges after investigators say he made a deal to provide keys to inmates to move internally within the jail in exchange for money.

David J. Lowe, 29, was arrested Sunday night, within hours of investigators receiving a tip on the allegations. He was charged Monday with a level 5 felony for escape, a level 6 felony for official misconduct and a class A misdemeanor for trafficking with an inmate.

Court records show that after receiving the tip Sunday, the Clark County jail commander and others began reviewing security footage where they noticed suspicious activity between Lowe and several inmates. They followed the footage as it showed Lowe on two separate occasions walk into one of the men's pods with a blood pressure cart, as if he were taking blood pressure of an inmate deep within the pod.

As his back was to the main door, several inmates can be seen entering the jail pod office, two leaving with items under their clothes.

Officers called Lowe in for questioning, and court records show that after being read his rights, he said that when he was doing a blood pressure check, he was asked by an inmate to provide keys to some internal areas within the jail in exchange for $1,000. He said he agreed to the deal and turned away to allow inmates access to the pod office.

Clark County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Scottie Maples said the keys were to some interior doors, including a supply closet, but would not have provided a way for anyone in the jail to escape the secured facility.

"These were not exterior door keys, those are not in the hands of anyone. Those are all secured," Maples said, adding "we were confident in knowing that the inmates were not going to get outside of the facility."

He said the administration does not tolerate misconduct or criminal acts by any staff. "We act swiftly and aggressively when it comes to any misconduct of any officers of the department," he said. "We don't hide it; we investigate it and if we can we charge it.

"Within several hours of getting a tip, one of our employees was arrested and booked into our facility."

He added that any officer trying to traffic with an inmate would become evident quickly, and that the investigation has not led to any other allegations against Lowe.

Lowe started with the Clark County Sheriff's Office in late November 2020 and was terminated Sunday, the same day he was taken into custody. His duties included conducting pill call, serving meals and working in various pods as needed. He is being held on a $10,000 cash-only bond. An initial hearing was not yet listed in online court records as of Monday afternoon.
   
(c)2021 The Evening News and The Tribune (Jeffersonville, Ind.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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