Delaware correctional officer charged in smuggling scheme

 (<a href=Cannabis leaf,smartphones via ShutterStock) " title="marijuanacell16x9" width="640" height="360"/>

(Cannabis leaf,smartphones via ShutterStock)

A Delaware correctional officer was arrested over the weekend for allegedly plotting to smuggle marijuana and cell phones into a Smyrna prison.

Internal Affairs investigators with Delaware’s Dept. of Correction tipped off state police, Saturday, after they uncovered a scheme involving Darryl West, Jr. of Bridgeville. Internal Affairs said the correctional officer and a sentenced inmate at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center were in cahoots to smuggle contraband into the jail.

Upon further investigation, Delaware State Police determined the inmate made arrangements for West to meet with someone outside of the jail who would hand over the drugs and phones to be smuggled into the prison, in exchange for $800 cash. West was then directed to drop off the goods at a predetermined location where a second inmate would deliver them to the conspiring inmate. 

West, police said, made contact with the inmate’s associate and set up a meeting, but was only given $700 in cash.

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Officers searching West’s SUV parked at the correctional center found 113.2 grams of marijuana, two Nokia cell phones and the $700. 

Troopers arrested West on Saturday without incident and charged him with Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana, Possession with Intent to Deliver Prison Contraband to Person Confined within Detention Facility and Conspiracy.

Delaware Dept. of Correction Spokesman John Painter said while incidents like this are not common, they do occur in the corrections system. 

West, Painter said, was hired on April 23, 2013, but did not start working at Vaughn Correctional Center until June 30, 2013, after he had completed an initial training. 

When asked about West’s employment status, Painter said via email, “effective May 17, 2014, Mr. West was removed from the workplace without pay.”

West remains in custody at Howard R. Young Correctional Institution on $15,000 secured bond.

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