Prison pot smuggling scheme busted

May 19, 2014

A 27-year-old Bridgeville man faces charges after police say he conspired to smuggle marijuana and cell phones into the Smyrna prison  while working as a correctional officer.

Darryl L. West Jr., a correctional officer at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, was conspiring with an inmate to sell contraband inside the prison, said Sgt. Paul Shavack of the Delaware State Police.

The inmate arranged for someone outside the prison to pay West to bring marijuana and cell phones into the prison, Shavack said.

Under the plan, West would bring the contraband into the prison and drop it at a predetermined location; another inmate would pick up the items and deliver them to the inmate who arranged the exchange.

Police found 113.2 grams of marijuana, two Nokia cell phones and $700 cash in West's Jeep Liberty, Shavack said.

Police charged West with possession with intent to deliver marijuana, possession with intent to deliver prison contraband to person confined within detention facility and second-degree conspiracy. He was committed to Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in default of $15,000 secured bond.

West was hired as a prison guard June 2013. He was removed from the workplace without pay on May 17, said John Painter, spokesman for the Department of Corrections.

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