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Jailer arrested for trafficking

BY Brian Powers - bpowers@chronicle-tribune.com

A jailer was arrested early Thursday morning for attempting to smuggle drugs into the Grant County Jail, according to a press release from Sheriff Reggie Nevels. 

The press release detailed the Grant County Sheriff’s Department being informed of contraband being brought inside the jail in exchange for money by Civilian Jail Officer Christopher John Michael Black, 26, of Marion. The department then initiated an investigation after the tip in late February.

“In the early morning of March 8, Mr. Black was observed retrieving a package containing a baggie of substance similar to a controlled substance,” Nevels said via the press release. “At no point did a controlled substance or dangerous substance enter the jail.”

After they were informed of Black’s actions, the sheriff’s department placed the jailer under surveillance. At this time, the details of what substance or substances were in the baggies are not known. Capt. Randy Albertson said there would be no further details released at this time.

“We’re not able to release any more information because this situation is still being very much investigated,” he said.

According to the release from Nevels, due to the danger the situation brought to inmates and employees of the Grant County Jail, the department decided to immediately arrest Black upon confirmation of his actions. The amount of money Black received is unknown, as are the identities of any accomplices, if he had any.

Black began his employment at the jail in Aug. 2017 and is facing charges of conspiracy to traffic with an inmate, a Level 5 felony, and conspiracy to deal in methamphetamine over 10 grams, a Level 2 felony. Black is currently an inmate at the Grant County Jail and has a $200,000 cash, surety or property bond.