Woman arrested for trafficking with inmate

Thursday, January 8, 2009

PUTNAMVILLE -- An Indianapolis woman has been formally charged with Class C felony trafficking with an inmate and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana in connection with a Jan. 4 incident at the Putnamville State Farm.

Lynette Lauderdale, 22, was arrested after she tried to pass pot to John Shirley, 26, who is serving an 8-year sentence on a Marion County conviction for Class B felony possession of cocaine or a narcotic drug.

According to an affidavit of probable cause prepared by Alfred W. Lux Jr. of the Indiana State Police, Lauderdale came to visit Shirley on the afternoon of Jan. 4, accompanied by the 5-year-old son the two share.

"Lauderdale passed through the security at the prison without incident," the affidavit said. "Upon entering the visiting area, Lauderdale went to the vending machine and purchased chips. She dumped the contents of the chip bag out and placed a small plastic baggie containing marijuana in the chip bag."

Indiana Department of Corrections Officer James Yocum was supervising the visiting area, and he observed Lauderdale attempting to pass the chip bag to Shirley, court documents said.

"Yocum seized the chip bag, and Lauderdale managed to extract the marijuana and tuck it into her pants while attempting to evade DOC officer Mary Hill, who was also in the visitor center," Lux wrote in his report.

Hill demanded that Lauderdale relinquish the marijuana, which she did.

"Lauderdale stated to both DOC officers and me that she had been given $50 by a second unidentified female subject to deliver the marijuana to Shirley," Lux said. "Lauderdale was not advised of her Miranda rights at the time she volunteered the information concerning the payment and her subsequent actions. She was standing next to me as the DOC officers were relating their information and volunteered those statements."

The entire incident was captured on surveillance video, court documents said.

Lauderdale was taken to ISP District 52 to wait for her sister to come pick up her son, court documents said. She was then booked into the Putnam County Jail.

Lauderdale, who is being represented by public defender Melinda Jackman-Hanlin, has entered a not guilty plea to the charges. She is set to be in court Feb. 26 for a pretrial conference.

On Wednesday, Lauderdale posted 10 percent of a $10,000 bond and was released from jail.

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  • Were the chips to be used later when the inmate got the "munchies" ?

    -- Posted by GRNT on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 6:53 AM
  • Another job well done by Correction Officers.

    -- Posted by peace2019 on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 8:36 AM
  • Is it professional for the Banner-Graphic to use the word pot as a substitute for marijuana in a story?


    (referring to second paragraph)

    -- Posted by Really??? on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 9:08 AM
  • This is why I'm not totally against sterilization. Some people just should not reproduce. But, since they have a beautiful 5 year old son, I hope that he is surrounded by love and does not turn out like his parents or become a product of his environment. I think harsher penalties should be brought down on this woman for doing this while her son was right there. What a heartless, stupid thing to do, but including a child in this drug mess is inexcuseable. Take him away from both of them and give him to someone who will actually parent the poor little guy.

    -- Posted by MsBehaving on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 9:22 AM
  • it always amazes me that ppl are willing to risk their own freedom like this, it amazes how a parent could bring a child to visitation in a prison, considering what dangers could come down, and the messages it sends to children, desensitizing prison life. I consider child visitation equal to child neglect, and then there is this child that doesn't get child support, because his daddy's locked up, and the mother comes up with bail money for herself. The family probably uses every public assistance available, yet they have the money to drive to the prison, get the pot,pay the bail,and neglect a child. I agree, dumb ppl shouldn't breed, or at least be able to continue to.

    -- Posted by PmL on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 10:20 AM
  • Good one on the munchies comment. It seems that a point missed here often is that w/sooo many people being arrested for trafficking w/inmates w/drugs,I gotta ask,where and when do the inmates have opportunity and location to use all these drugs? I imagine only a fraction is intercepted,and I hear drugs are rampant in there,so whos minding the farm? Where and when is the party? Why is it so easy to smoke weed or whatever inside a prison?Something isnt right about that...

    -- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 11:36 PM
  • You've got to be kidding...maybe 100 Custody staff Monday thru Friday, and 60-70 on nights and weekends, if you're lucky! Overseeing 2500 offenders, (and the numbers are rising), one Officer per dorm with 140-150 offenders, you do the math. Drugs, tobacco, and cellphones are confiscated by staff everyday in quantity. Many of the persons being caught trafficking, are female visitors and you can imagine where the items are being concealed to avoid detection. Next time they are hiring go out and put in an application for an eye opening experience.

    -- Posted by ISF-C/O on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 10:12 AM
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