Two Oklahoma Department of Corrections employees are accused of bringing contraband into a local prison.
Kurtis Ray Petty, 28, Talihina, was charged Tuesday with felony possession of cell phone or electronic device or electronic device in penal institution and misdemeanor possession of contraband in penal institution or jail, according to documents filed in Pittsburg County District Court.
Documents also show a second employee, Tyler Steven Holman, 32, McAlester, was charged with felony bringing contraband (drugs) into jail/penal institution.
Both men made their initial appearances Tuesday, according to the District 18 District Attorney’s Office.
A judge set a bail bond of $5,000 for Holman, while Petty appeared with an attorney and received a bond on his own recognizance, according to the DA’s office.
ODOC Public Information Manager Matt Elliott said both Petty and Holman have the rank of corporal and were arrested Monday at Oklahoma State Penitentiary after going through the prison’s shakedown facility.
According to Elliott, every employee goes through the shakedown at the facility prior to their shift starting.
Elliott said ODOC made the discovery of contraband on Holman around 5:45 p.m. Monday.
“We found four packages wrapped in black tape that were in his backpack,” said Elliott. “We immediately detained him and the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office took him into custody.”
According to a probable cause affidavit prepared by Pittsburg County Sheriff Kody Hance, the packages contained a green leafy substance which field tested positive for marijuana.
Hance states in his affidavit that he heard Holman tell an ODOC investigator that “he had been bringing contraband into the facility for approximately six months and was receiving $500 each time he brought a drop in.”
Elliott said shortly after, ODOC discovered a cell phone and “a bag of vapor, vapor juice, and a charger,” on Petty.
“All of those things are contraband in a state prison,” said Elliott. “It’s a felony.”
After both men were read their Miranda warning, Holman did not wish to speak to Hance while Petty said that the cell phone, charger, vape, and vape juice were for his sole personal use, the affidavit states.
According to Elliot, both men are suspended with pay while the investigation continues into the two men.
“This is something we have exactly zero tolerance for and anytime we have staff bringing contraband into our facilities it puts inmates at risk, it puts their fellow staff members at risk, it puts the public at risk and we won’t tolerate it,” said Elliott.
“They don’t belong working for a prison, they belong in prison,” said Elliott.
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