JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from MDOC.
A corrections officer at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman was arrested early this morning after seven large bags of contraband, including tobacco, cell phones and suspected alcohol, were found in a state vehicle.
Christopher Richardson, who was on duty, had picked up the contraband in six garbage bags and one paper sack from property adjacent to the prison and was stopped by MDOC's Corrections Investigation Division officers around 1:40 a.m. as he was returning to the prison.
CID investigators, acting on citizen information received hours earlier, intercepted Richardson at the front gate. Richardson is a 22-year employee.
"I am sorry to learn that a veteran employee would risk not only his life but also the lives of his fellow employees by helping inmates get contraband," Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher said. "A corrupt employee is a disservice to all the hardworking employees of this agency, let alone taxpayers. We will seek full prosecution."
Richardson, 52, of Clarksdale is being held in the Sunflower County Jail on a $75,000 bond on charges of introduction of contraband (tobacco) and introduction of alcoholic beverages. A conviction on the contraband charge carries from three to 15 years in prison, a maximum $25,000 bond, or both. A conviction on the beverage offense carries a minimum two years and a maximum five years and up to $10,000.
Richardson also faces disciplinary action, including up to termination.
Investigators do not believe Richardson acted alone and expect more arrests as they pursue leads, CID Director Sean K. Smith said.