Brazil man arrested for trafficking with inmate

Friday, September 3, 2010

PUTNAMVILLE -- A Brazil man who worked for Aramark Food Services, the company who provides meals for offenders at the Putnamville Correctional Facility, has been charged with two felonies connected to trafficking with an inmate.

Seth M. Curtis, 22, was formally charged in Putnam County Circuit Court with Class A felony dealing in a narcotic drug and Class C felony trafficking with an inmate.

At his initial hearing, Curtis pled not guilty to both charges. His bond was set at $40,000 cash, and as of Thursday he remained lodged in the Putnam County Jail.

Curtis requested a public defender, and Joel Wieneke was assigned to the case. A pretrial conference was set for Oct. 14.

Court records said Curtis, who was a supervisor for Aramark, was interviewed by officers on Aug. 25 in the Internal Affairs Office at the prison after prison officials received a tip that Curtis was trafficking with Aryan Brotherhood members there.

"During the interview Mr. Curtis did admit to trafficking with offender (James) Campbell," a narrative prepared by Putnamville Correctional Facility Correctional Officer Quentin Storm said.

Campbell, 37, was convicted in Fulton County in October 2005 on two counts of Class B felony dealing in cocaine or a narcotic drug. His earliest possible release date is listed on the Indiana Department of Correction Web site as June 25, 2015.

Curtis told Storm he had received a cell phone call from Campbell earlier that day instructing Curtis to "being in the package when he comes into work around 2 p.m."

Curtis had smuggled that package into the prison. It was concealed under his testicles, and her voluntarily surrendered it.

Storm's report described the package as "a horseshoe-shaped, clear plastic parcel containing what was identified by Mr. Curtis as tobacco."

Also in the parcel, the report said, were two smaller parcels wrapped in black electrical tape. Curtis told Storm he had received the parcel from "an unknown black man in Indianapolis behind a 7-11 store on Michigan Street at the direction of offender Campbell. Curtis was not sure what was inside these parcels, but indicated he believed the substances were narcotics."

When the parcels were unwrapped, officers found three more parcels wrapped inside balloons. The substance contained in the balloons was field tested and determined to be heroin -- a total of 13.9 grams.

Curtis told Storm he had been trafficking with Campbell for about sevene months. He said he was paid $300 via Western Union each time he brought a package into the facility.

"He could not give me an estimated amount of money he has been paid for trafficking because there were too many incidents to recall," Storm said in his report.

Storm placed Curtis under arrest and transported him to the Putnam County Jail.

Curtis declined to sign a waiver that would give police permission to search his personal vehicle. The vehicle was towed from the prison to the Indiana State Police Post across the street and secured inside the garage at the request of Putnam County Deputy Prosecutor James Hanner.

A search warrant will be obtained.

If convicted on both charges, Curtis could receive a prison sentence of up to 23 years.

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