GREENE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Two officers of a Greene County correctional facility have been arrested after being caught with contraband during a shakedown Tuesday morning.
Jadijah Rawls, 21, a correctional officer trainee hired in November and Diane Phillips, 64, a correctional officer since February 2014, were arrested and booked into the Greene County Jail, according to a Mississippi Department of Corrections press release. The shakedown was part of Operation Zero Tolerance at the South Mississippi Correctional Institute.
Seized items include a cellphone concealed on Rawls and $750 in cash and $1,420 in Green dot numbers from Phillips.
"We are finding people who are trying to supplement their salaries by doing these types of illegal things," Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said during an appearance before the Senate Judiciary B Committee meeting Tuesday afternoon to update lawmakers about the department.
SMCI officers were included in the shakedown of Area II.
"It's important that we weed out those officers who don't belong among our hardworking, honest employees," Hall said. "We will make the adjustments to do the best we can to carry out our public safety mission."
Officers also discovered $535 was found hidden in a wall. Other contraband found includes 50 sharpened items, 27 smart phones, 41 cellphone chargers, four flip phones, six cellphone batteries, three MP3 players, 20 sets of ear buds and Bluetooth devices, 14 packs of marijuana, 55 packages of spice, seven suspected packs of crystal methamphetamine, one suspected pack of cocaine, 11 packs of tobacco, and numerous unindentified pills, according to the release.
"One officer reportedly said during the shakedown at SMCI that she now feels safe for the first time in 16 years," Hall said. "That is good to hear because these shakedowns are designed to do just that – to help staff and inmates be secure."
If convicted, Rawls and Phillips face termination, three to 15 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine.