A Monroe County corrections officer has been arrested and terminated after an investigation showed he was allegedly sneaking drugs into the jail.
Narcotics Agent James Wall said a series of phone calls had been intercepted over a two-week period involving Brandon Rymer and inmate Carrie Hull working on getting drugs into the jail.
Wall said while monitoring these calls, authorities learned that Corrections Officer Lucas Joe Lance was allegedly helping them get the drugs into the jail. Officers then intercepted a text saying drugs were being put in a car that was being brought to the jail.
Officers set up surveillance on a gray Chevy Malibu belonging to Lance and saw what appeared to be a can of dipping tobacco and a Sharpie marker on the front side tire. Wall said Lance was then spotted picking up the items, putting them in the car and leaving.
Wall said Lance, who also had expired tags, was pulled over, read his rights and the officers then located the can of dipping tobacco and the Sharpie. Inside the can was a crystal-like substance that field tested as meth, while the Sharpie contained syringes.
Lance allegedly admitted he was supposed to take the items into cell two and that he had done it before.
Wall said Rymer was then interviewed, and he admitted he used the drugs to get stuff from the commissary and that he had done it multiple times. He also said he had worked the deals with Hull.
Another inmate, Travis Hull, had been heard on the phone calls and when interviewed he admitted he had also paid Lance to bring drugs into the jail. Lance then said he had also brought tobacco to inmate Jamey Frank on various occasions.
Wall said a second marker was found near where Lance’s vehicle had been parked with cigarettes stuffed into it.
Lance, 21, Jackson Drive, Madisonville; Huffman, 36, Clear Branch Road, Loudon; Frank, 39, Monroe Circle, Madisonville; Hull, 25, Turnpike Road, Madisonville; and Rymer, 27, Steer Creek Road, Tellico Plains, were all charged with conspiracy to introduce contraband into a penal facility.
In a press release regarding the matter, Monroe County Sheriff Tommy Jones II said, “As your sheriff, I will continue to hold my deputies accountable for their actions, and continue to firmly stand behind my zero tolerance for criminal acts committed by deputies within the Sheriff’s Office, as well as individuals in the community. I hold my deputies to the highest standards with strict policies in place, in which many were violated by the correctional deputy in this particular incident. The Sheriff’s Office will continue to hold all employees to the highest expectations as we work together to better serve our great county.”