Officer charged with smuggling contraband

TUPELO – A Lee County corrections officer was charged with smuggling contraband to a jail inmate over the weekend.
Deputies arrested Patrick Caldwell, 38, of Smithville after Sheriff Jim Johnson said he allegedly tried to smuggle a cell phone to an inmate.
Cell phones are prohibited and are illegal contraband in jails. Caldwell was taken to the Monroe County Jail for safety purposes, then was released Monday on a $2,500 bond set in Justice Court.
Johnson said he got a tip that someone was smuggling in contraband.
“It could have very well been a gun,” said Johnson. “We want everyone in our jail to be safe. That’s why we have rules.”
Caldwell has worked as a corrections officer at the jail since 2001. He employment has been terminated. If convicted, he faces a minimum prison term of three years and a maximum of 15 years.
Even though a cell phone is legal outside of jail, Johnson said it is still illegal for an inmate to have one behind bars.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Department handled the investigation and arrest.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal