Investigation Underway into Contraband at State Prison

WRIGHTSVILLE, AR - Amid an investigation into a contraband ring at the Wrightsville state prison, a kitchen worker has resigned after being accused of smuggling banned goods into the prison.

A food production manager who worked for the Arkansas Dept. of Correction for four years resigned at the end of last week.  Prison spokeswoman Dina Tyler says the worker quit after an inmate accused her of helping smuggle unidentified contraband into the medium-security prison.

The worker was the second prison employee in a week accused of smuggling in goods.

The same inmate also accused a sergeant who was placed on administrative leave July 16.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette cited unnamed sources that said the sergeant provided the inmate with a cell phone to coordinate drug shipments to the prison.

Tyler declined to identify either employee.

Earlier this year, an investigation of a contraband ring at the Tucker Unit netted 15 prison or support staff members at the medium and maximum security prisons in Jefferson County.

The ring involved smuggling computers and computer parts into the prison and the sale of inmate transfers to other prisons.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)