Local News

Two Cumberland Jailers Arrested For Allegedly Smuggling Items To Inmates

Posted August 21, 2003

— Two Cumberland County jailers charged with having sex with inmates and selling alcohol, drugs and other items are scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office arrested Latoya Swartz and Promises Ward on Wednesday.

Swartz, 25, was charged with nine counts of furnishing controlled substances and nine counts of possessing controlled substances. She is also charged with four counts of sexual activity by a custodian and three counts of trading contraband with inmates.

She is accused of providing liquor, food, prescription medicine, cigars and pornographic magazines to inmates and having sex with them.

Ward, 24, is charged with seven counts of trading contraband and one count of having sex with an inmate.

Investigators say Ward wrote letters to an inmate, had sex with him and gave him a cell phone.

"The activities they did are inconceivable to take place in a jail facility. They are taught in their training that they do not get personally involved with inmates," Cumberland County Sheriff Moose Butler said.

Authorities said they found out about the alleged activity in July, when an inmate told them. The Sheriff's Office said no money was exchanged for the sex, but inmates allegedly paid Swartz and Ward for the contraband.

Officials believe the contraband was smuggled into the jail through the women's handbags.

Swartz and Ward were transported to the Harnett County Jail where they are each being held on $1 million bond.

If convicted, they face up to seven years in jail on the felony charges.

Officials said more arrests are expected.

The arrests are the latest incident in a string of problems for the new jail.

First, officials did not have enough money to run the jail. Within the first few months of operation, there were two suicides at the facility. In February, the jail's health service program was put on probation. In the last two months, the same jailer mistakenly released two inmates on different occasions.


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