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Drugs are being smuggled into Maine jails, with deadly results

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Three inmates have been found dead in Maine jails in the past month. William Tucker died of suspected suicide, and a 65-year-old man was found unresponsive at Cumberland County Jail. The most recent death was Nicole Turner, who state police say died of a suspected overdose at York County Jail. The Assistant Director of the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition, Jan Collins, claims drugs are being smuggled into Maine jails by people who are recently booked and sometimes by staff. Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce released a statement saying: “Arrestee contraband is a continual problem. That is why we have a body scanner, which picks up most of what inmates are trying to get in to the jail. But the staff are also vigilant in finding contraband that may be missed by the body scanner. Thankfully, corrections officers bringing in contraband to facilities, is rare statewide. It does occur, but is rare. Employees bringing contraband into the jail is taken very seriously. If we find an employee bringing in contraband, we will do a criminal investigation and often charge the employee criminally, if appropriate.” York County Sheriff William L. King also released a statement saying, “While there have been few isolated instances in which Corrections Officers have introduced contraband into a facility, it is far from commonplace. Corrections Officers undergo a rigorous background investigation, in York County a polygraph examination and are supervised closely. The vast majority of Corrections Officers are honest hard-working individuals and a few individuals who succumbed to corruption should not be held as the standard. New arrivals sometimes attempt to smuggle drugs into the facility. Many facilities have body scanners to find contraband being concealed. Remember, corrections officials may only conduct a strip search if the arrestee fits certain criteria.” By law, a body cavity search requires a warrant and written consent. When it comes to Nicole Turner’s suspected overdose, King said they are still waiting on an autopsy and toxicology report to confirm her cause of death. It could take more than six weeks for that to be completed.

Three inmates have been found dead in Maine jails in the past month.

William Tucker died of suspected suicide, and a 65-year-old man was found unresponsive at Cumberland County Jail.

The most recent death was Nicole Turner, who state police say died of a suspected overdose at York County Jail.

The Assistant Director of the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition, Jan Collins, claims drugs are being smuggled into Maine jails by people who are recently booked and sometimes by staff.

Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce released a statement saying:

“Arrestee contraband is a continual problem. That is why we have a body scanner, which picks up most of what inmates are trying to get in to the jail. But the staff are also vigilant in finding contraband that may be missed by the body scanner. Thankfully, corrections officers bringing in contraband to facilities, is rare statewide. It does occur, but is rare. Employees bringing contraband into the jail is taken very seriously. If we find an employee bringing in contraband, we will do a criminal investigation and often charge the employee criminally, if appropriate.”

York County Sheriff William L. King also released a statement saying,

“While there have been few isolated instances in which Corrections Officers have introduced contraband into a facility, it is far from commonplace. Corrections Officers undergo a rigorous background investigation, in York County a polygraph examination and are supervised closely. The vast majority of Corrections Officers are honest hard-working individuals and a few individuals who succumbed to corruption should not be held as the standard. New arrivals sometimes attempt to smuggle drugs into the facility. Many facilities have body scanners to find contraband being concealed. Remember, corrections officials may only conduct a strip search if the arrestee fits certain criteria.”

By law, a body cavity search requires a warrant and written consent.

When it comes to Nicole Turner’s suspected overdose, King said they are still waiting on an autopsy and toxicology report to confirm her cause of death.

It could take more than six weeks for that to be completed.


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Knoxville police investigating after body found in vacant school building

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Stock image Knoxville Police Department KPD Cruiser Squad Car Dodge Charger

Stock image Knoxville Police Department KPD Cruiser Squad Car Dodge Charger

Knoxville police officers are working to identify a body found Monday morning inside a vacant school building in the Parkridge neighborhood.

There are no obvious signs of foul play, a police department spokesperson said in a press release.

Officers responded to the Knoxville Baptist Christian School property on 2434 E. Fifth Ave. at about 10:20 a.m., the release stated. According to the release, they had received a report that human remains were found inside the vacant building.

Investigators and Medical Examiner’s Office personnel responded and the remains were taken to the Regional Forensic Center.

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Knoxville police investigating after body found in vacant building


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Police identify man killed in Pflugerville apartment shooting

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Police have identified a man killed in a shooting at a Pflugerville apartment complex on Nov. 22 as Richard Gomez. Investigators have a suspect who is “being cooperative,” police said.

Officers were called to a disturbance at 6:36 p.m. on Nov. 22 at the Stoneridge Apartments, 16701 N. Heatherwilde Blvd., officials have said. When they arrived, they found Gomez dead from a single gunshot wound, police said.

Pflugerville police are investigating the fatal shooting of a man at an apartment complex.

Pflugerville police are investigating the fatal shooting of a man at an apartment complex.

The Pflugerville Police Department is working with the Travis County district attorney’s office to investigate the shooting.

Armed female driver killed by DPS trooper identified as Pflugerville resident

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Police identify man killed in Pflugerville apartment shooting


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Brittney Griner Faces 16-Hour Work Days in Russian Gulag

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WNBA star Brittney Griner will face 16-hour work days and possible abuse as she serves her nine-year sentence for drug smuggling in one of Russia’s harshest penal colonies, according to TMZ Sports.

After Griner was sentenced in October, Russian officials transferred the athlete to the Mordovia region’s IK-2 female penal colony, originally built in the 1930s as part of the Stalin-era gulag system. While the prison has improved since then, it is still characterized by brutality and harsh conditions.

“Prisons in Mordovia are notoriously terrible, even by Russian standards. The prisons there are known for the harsh regimes and human rights violations,” Olga Zeveleva, a sociologist at the University of Helsinki who specializes in Russian prison conditions, told the Guardian.

President Joe Biden has promised to continue negotiating a prisoner swap with Russia, offering convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan.

“My intention is to get [Griner] home,” Biden said a day after the midterm elections. “We’ve had a number of discussions so far, and I’m hopeful that now that our election is over, there’s a willingness to negotiate more specifically with us.” Biden has yet to reach an agreement with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Some analysts hope Griner’s high-profile status will shield her from abuse, Zeveleva said, but others fear Russia’s war with Ukraine and the United States’ support for Ukraine could make life worse for Griner.

“In times of war, the rules might be different. … In any case, she won’t have a pleasant time there,” Zeveleva said.




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