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Corrections Officer Arrested for Drugs

The Donalsonville Chief is reporting that a corrections officer working at the Elayne Hunt Correctional Center was arrested last month when he tried to smuggle contraband into the facility. The arrest came after an “internal investigation” which then led to a search of the officer’s home.

Daron Toussant is accused of having marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids. The latter type of drug used to legal and was sold as a substitute for marijuana. However, products (like incense) sold with these synthetics are now regulated and classified as illegal substances. The officer is charged with conspiracy to smuggle contraband, a felony in Louisiana.

The details of how the drugs were to be smuggled in were not released, and the officer is only alleged to have conspired to do so. Also mentioned in reports was that his 14-year-old son also lives at the home where the drugs were discovered. This adds an additional charge of using controlled drug substances in the presence of a minor.

The introduction of drugs into correctional facilities is a serious and ongoing problem, not unique to Louisiana. Most offenders in jail have a history of substance abuse and drugs are in high demand. They are sometimes part of the prison economy, used both as an incentive and a valuable commodity among prisoners. Not surprisingly, even small amounts of banned substances can bring an attractive price – many times higher than the same drugs would bring if sold on the street.

Bringing drugs into a facility can have wide ranging effects, including spawning more violence as suppliers and their “customers” come into conflict. In this case, no specifics were released about how the matter came to light and the assumption is that someone inside ratted Toussant out. However, since guards are commonly searched, the drugs may have been discovered that way. It will remain for a jury to decide if Toussant is guilty or not.

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