Former jail officer among drug smuggling arrests - WKRN News 2

Former jail officer among drug smuggling arrests

Posted: Updated: Oct 29, 2012 10:08 PM
Derek Turner Derek Turner
Benjamin Bradley, left, and James Pierce Benjamin Bradley, left, and James Pierce
Linda Chapman Linda Chapman
Melinda Buie Melinda Buie
COLUMBIA, Tenn. -

Maury County's Sheriff said more arrests and charges are possible in connection to an investigation of bribery and drug smuggling at the Maury County Jail.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on Monday arrested three people, including a former correctional officer, on charges related to bribery and drug smuggling at the jail.

"We got some information from outside sources that we had a problem," Maury County Sheriff Enoch George said. "Once you have a situation where a correction officer brings contraband in and sells it pretty much from that time on the inmate owns that individual."

Working a covert operation between April 2011 and July 2011, the TBI, FBI and Maury County Sheriff's Department found that Derek Turner, 37, was accepting cash payments to smuggle drugs and other contraband into the jail for two inmates.

Turner was employed as a correctional officer at the time.

The inmates, Benjamin Bradley, 35, and James Pierce, 40, were also indicted as a result of the investigation, along with Bradley's mother, 52-year-old Linda Chapman and Pierce's ex-girlfriend, 40-year-old Melinda Buie.

"It creates a risk factor because you don't know if they are bringing contraband in as far as the drugs are concerned or maybe even weapons," George said.

According to the indictment against Turner, he brought cigarettes, lighters and prescription pain killers into the jail.

Sheriff George said the jail has more than 130 cameras some visible, others are hidden.

"Whenever we interview people here for corrections I immediately inform them that they are supervisors," he said. "If they go do something they shouldn't do like bring contraband in to someone who is in jail they are setting themselves up for hard times."

Turner, Chapman and Buie were all arrested on the charges Monday.

Pierce and Bradley are currently in prison on unrelated charges.

Turner resigned from the Maury County Sheriff's Department in July of 2011.

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