An off-duty Daviess County Detention Center deputy jailer has been charged with the Class D felony of first-degree promoting contraband. According to Kentucky State Police, 22-year-old Christian D. West of Utica admitted to smuggling cell phones and smokeless tobacco to inmates in exchange for money.
Jailer Art Maglinger said members of DCDC on Friday initiated an administrative investigation into potential contraband at the facility. During the course of that investigation, the Special Response Team (SRT) was activated. Maglinger said the SRT coordinated two simultaneous searches in separate inmate housing units, where they found three cell phones and drug contraband.
DCDC initiated contact with KSP and requested them to conduct a criminal investigation, leading to West being arrested Friday and booked into the Henderson County Detention Center. The deputy, who was fired, had served with DCDC since August 2021.
West faces three counts of first-degree promoting contraband, which can each carry up to a 5-year prison sentence. He also faces six counts of second-degree promoting contraband, which is Class A misdemeanor meaning each charge can carry up to a 1-year sentence.
According to the arrest citation, West spoke to a KSP investigator and admitted that over the past 1.5 months he was paid cash or through a cash app to bring inmates cell phones and smokeless tobacco.
West also said “he knew what he was doing was illegal and was doing it for the money,” according to the citation.
According to the report, West admitted he brought three cell phones and six cans of smokeless tobacco into the jail facility and “gave it to the inmates as requested.”
West stated that over the course of 1.5 months he was paid approximately $1,000 to bring the contraband in, the KSP report says.
The investigation is ongoing and additional criminal charges are expected on other inmates.
“The actions of this former deputy are a breach of the public trust and extremely disappointing,” Maglinger said. “This unfortunate incident is a cautionary tale of how quickly seemingly minor actions can escalate into circumstances that jeopardize safety and security. The actions of this individual do not represent the dedication of the deputy jailers.”