Correctional officer facing five felonies for trafficking with inmate at Putnamville
A correctional officer, reportedly hoping to make $500 by passing narcotics to an inmate, instead lost his job and wound up in court Monday facing five felony charges.
Andreas Kirby, 20, of Crawfordsville, who had been working as an officer at Putnamville Correctional Facility (PCF) since September, was arrested Saturday, Jan. 26 for allegedly trafficking drugs with an inmate.
Kirby made his initial appearance in court Monday afternoon with Putnam Superior Court Judge Denny Bridges entering preliminary pleas of not guilty on his behalf to all charges.
Kirby faces charges of trafficking with an inmate (a Class C felony), along with Class D felonies of possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
Investigators discovered the packages Kirby allegedly attempted to deliver contained 22 strips of Suboxone, 75 Xanax tablets, approximately 40.6 grams of marijuana and approximately 2.2 grams of what field-tested to be cocaine.
Prison staff was alerted to the contraband when Kirby set off an alarm as he walked through the facility's metal detector and sensors while reporting to work at approximately 5:45 p.m. Saturday.
When Correctional Officer James Alexander conducted a second scan, the alarm was triggered again.
During a subsequent interview with Correctional Police Officer Troy Keith, Kirby surrendered three packages wrapped in tape that had been concealed in his groin area.
He also identified inmate Vincent Price, 31, of Indianapolis, as the intended recipient of the contraband in exchange for a reported $500.
Officer Keith's incident report indicates Kirby admitted trafficking contraband items on three other occasions, for which he said he received $1,500 in total.
Kirby was transported to the Putnam County Jail and booked in at 9 p.m. Saturday.
Judge Bridges has issued a no-contact order against Kirby for any Department of Correction property or facility.
"I assume you've been terminated," Judge Bridges asked the defendant Monday afternoon.
"Yes, sir," Kirby responded.
Deputy Prosecutor James Hanner asked several routine questions of Kirby, bristling when the defendant said he was helping take care of his mother who had been injured in an accident.
"Double shame on you then," the veteran deputy prosecutor responded before recommending the customary bond in a felony drug case.
Bond was set at $10,000 cash (with 10 percent allowed) and $5,000 surety. Kirby's next court appearance was set for 11 a.m. March 27.
Reviewing the incident, PCF Superintendent Stanley Knight praised the integrity and efforts of officers who discovered the alleged trafficking offense.
"Fortunately, we have employees like Officer Alexander who are diligent in their duties and follow protocol," Knight said. "I commend his efforts and hope that this serves as a warning that activities of this nature will not be tolerated.
"It's unfortunate that even after extensive training and repeated warnings staff succumb to this type of criminal behavior," Knight added.
Inmate Price is currently serving multiple sentences for felony convictions of dealing and possession of cocaine.
He is being held in administrative segregation and could face criminal charges pending the outcome of an investigation.