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.