The Oklahoman

Employee of arrested in contraband case

- JaNae Williams

Contraband destined for Oklahoma County jail inmates was intercepte­d last weekend and a contracted health employee who worked at the jail was arrested, authoritie­s said.

On the same day that Oklahoma County Commission­er Brian Maughan praised the jail for making strides in the right direction, the latest incident of an employee involved in nefarious activities was announced by jail Administra­tor Greg Williams. The employee, a medical assistant contracted through Turnkey Medical, was responsibl­e for delivering medication­s to inmates.

“A special investigat­ions unit was following up on a potential drop and some intel that they had received, and they did arrest a medical contracted employee who was bringing in about 14 bundles of K2, marijuana, meth and fentanyl, as well as some tobacco,” Williams said during the jail trust meeting Monday.

According to a probable cause affidavit provided by the jail, Tkeyah Wallace was arrested Saturday for Introducti­on of contraband into a penal facility. The affidavit states that investigat­ors at the jail received a tip about Wallace passing contraband to inmates on the eighth and 10th floors during the course of her job, which led to a review of surveillan­ce footage.

“I observed an inmate walk over to the medical cart while the Medical Escort Officer and Wallace were on the 2nd Tier of 10th Floor Baker Pod and grab the trash bag from the trash bin,” said criminal investigat­or Daniel Lazar in the affidavit. “The inmate walked away underneath the tier and can be observed on video stuffing the trash bag into the front of his pants.”

According to the affidavit, Wallace was interviewe­d when she arrived for her shift at the jail Saturday. During the interview, she identified several inmates, including an ex-boyfriend, to whom she had been delivering items in the jail since about three weeks after beginning her employment in July 2021.

Wallace is also told investigat­ors she “messed her entire life up.”

Upon searching her belongings, two potato chip bags “resealed with an adhesive substance” were found, officials said. The bags contained multiple “bundles of unidentified objects wrapped in black electrical tape, along with tattoo ink and eighteen packaged tattoo needles,” according to the affidavit.

Wallace also gave investigat­ors permission to search her cell phone and car. Wallace admitted she had been paid around $9,000 for her role in bringing items into the jail. When investigat­ors searched her vehicle, they located two additional potato chip bags containing items bundled in black electrical tape, including cell phones and unidentified pills, authoritie­s said.

Wallace’s arrest is the latest in a series of contraband events that have plagued the jail. In February, two jailers were arrested for smuggling various items. A contract employee of the jail’s commissary provider was arrested in July after he was alleged to have carried marijuana, loose leaf tobacco, cigarettes and cell phones into the jail.

Convicted serial killer William Lewis Reece was alleged to have been found with a cell phone in the jail in August.

 ?? OKLAHOMA COUNTY DETENTION CENTER ?? Contraband confiscated during a recent arrest at the Oklahoma County Jail is displayed.
OKLAHOMA COUNTY DETENTION CENTER Contraband confiscated during a recent arrest at the Oklahoma County Jail is displayed.

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