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Home  |  News  |  CCSO: 5 arrested in detention center contraband ring; officer fired in separate incident

CCSO: 5 arrested in detention center contraband ring; officer fired in separate incident

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County deputies held a press conference Wednesday to discuss the investigation into a "major" contraband ring at the detention center, as well as the arrest of a jail employee in a separate incident involving child pornography.

Assistant Sheriff Mitch Lucas announced the arrest of Charleston County Detention Center Officer Matthew William Davis for sexual exploitation of a minor. Lucas says Davis turned himself in Wednesday morning as part of an investigation by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office into child pornography.

Court documents state the investigation uncovered 10 pornographic pictures of children on two laptops.

Davis was fired from his position at the jail for conduct unbecoming an officer, according to Lucas.

Authorities also discussed the discovery of a "major, larger issue of contraband" at the Charleston County Detention Center.

Antonio McNeil, Kadrin Singleton, Tyra Buie, Brittany Wilder and Timothy Patrick have been charged with various counts from distribution of narcotics to attempt to smuggle contraband. A sixth suspect, Brandon Williams, remains at large.

"There may be more charges with the people already in jail, and there may be more people arrested," said Lucas. "We don't believe there were any staff members involved. That's the first thing we looked at."

Deputies say heroin, cocaine, syringes, and two cell phones were smuggled into the jail using saline solution bottles on three different occasions. It was on the third try on May 23 that a detention officer noticed something during the screening process.

Officials say two inmates on the inside were communicating with their girlfriends who were part of the operation.

"This strikes at the core of public safety in Charleston County," said Lucas. "It never gets better by itself. If they get away with bringing marijuana in, they'll bring cocaine it. If they get away with cocaine, they'll bring heroin in. If they bring heroin in, they'll bring a weapon in."

Officials say the suspects involved in the contraband ring will face 88 charges all together, with each charge carrying a maximum of 10 years.

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