Saturday, Lincoln County Deputy Jailer Justin Lee Pearson, 21, was arrested and charged with trafficking in a controlled substance and promoting contraband within the Lincoln Regional Detention Center.
Jailer David Gooch said that he had received information that Pearson was involved in trafficking contraband in the jail and was planning on picking up the drugs on Saturday. A third party placed the drugs in a soft drink vending machine outside of the courthouse and Pearson was observed picking up the drugs and returning to the jail where he was confronted. A Kentucky State Police report on the arrest states that Pearson admitted to an inmate that he had taken the drugs from the vending machine.
Gooch said that he didn’t want to name any other names in the case because of an ongoing investigation by the Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations unit, but he did say that he expected that more arrests among both the jail staff and the inmates to be forthcoming.
“Internal affairs is a huge issue and one of the most challenging thing a jailer does,” Gooch said. “Deputy jailers become very aware of the placement of cameras and microphones and the jails routine,” Gooch said of the difficulties keeping track of employees bent on breaking the law. “These types of crimes are easier to commit because of the design of the jail.
Gooch said that in large lockups there are entire internal affairs units. “Here, there’s me,” he said.
Gooch said that he had developed the intelligence on the drug trafficking through his own investigation within the jail and contacted the KSP when he realized the scope of the problem.
“In cases like this, it’s always better to have an external organization do the investigation,” Gooch said of his decision to go outside of the county for support. “I thank KSP for their support.”
Gooch also thanked Sheriff Curt Folger for his support over the weekend on another drug related incident at the jail. “I asked for the sheriff’s support this weekend and he sent Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Kirkpatrick right over,” Gooch said.
Folger reported that Kirkpatrick and his K9 partner, Ingo, ran through the courthouse and uncovered another stash of contraband. Folger said that Ingo alerted on tobacco, marijuana and pills that had been secluded on the courthouse’s second floor where prisoners are allowed contact visits. No arrests were made after that discovery and Gooch would not elaborate as to whether or not the two cases were related.
Gooch said that Pearson was arrested Saturday evening by the KSP and charged with trafficking, first offense, a Class C felony, and promoting contraband, a Class D felony. In a written statement, Gooch said that Pearson’s employment had been terminated.
Pearson, who had only been on the jail staff for a short time was transported after his arrest to the Fayette County Detention Center, but Folger said he was bailed out on Monday.Lincoln deputy jailer arrested for contraband