Smith County grand jury indicts 9 people accused of smuggling contraband into jail

Smith County grand jury indicts 9 people accused of smuggling contraband into jail
Source: Gray News Media (Source: Gray News)

SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A Smith County grand jury has indicted eight men and one woman, including a former jailer, in connection with allegations that they were part of a ring that smuggled drugs and contraband into the jail.

The Smith County grand jury passed down the indictments on the men when it met on June 9.

The charges and bond amounts for the nine individuals include:

  • Tommy Allen - engaging in organized criminal activity, $250,000
  • Alex Arnold - engaging in organized criminal activity, $250,000
  • Joshua Bates - engaging in organized criminal activity, $250,000
  • Cayman Marshall – prohibited substance/item in a correctional facility, $250,000
  • Jose Medrano-Clarke - engaging in organized criminal activity, $250,000
  • Eric Sanchez - engaging in organized criminal activity, $250,000
  • Angel Torrez-Caicedo - engaging in organized criminal activity, $250,000
  • Cody Wallace – prohibited substance/item in a correctional facility – $250,000
  • Lance Watson, engaging in organized criminal activity and prohibited substance/item in a correctional facility, $325,000

The seven men are currently being held at the Smith and Gregg county jails.

In a previous East Texas News story, Sheriff Larry Smith said that a search of inmate cells at the jail turned up a cell phone, what was believed to be a drug ledger, a controlled substance, and security tools back in March. Smith said the search was prompted by a tip that said a detention officer was smuggling contraband into the jail.

At that point, Smith County Sheriff’s Office investigators searched Watson, who was working as a jailer at the time.

“In his lunch kit, we found more contraband secreted between the buns of sandwiches,” Smith said.

According to Smith, the sheriff’s office got a search warrant for Watson’s apartment. He added that more contraband was found at that location.

“We’re going to take the case as far as it goes and let the chips fall where they fall,” Smith said in a previous story. “It could be a lengthy investigation because we believe it has that potential.”

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