Prison officials say a correctional officer colluded with a convicted killer she was sleeping with to bring contraband into Lieber Correctional.
According to warrants released Monday, a female employee and an inmate exchanged text messages arranging for her to bring contraband into the maximum-security prison in Ridgeville. The documents do not list what contraband was brought into the facility, which houses more than 1,100 inmates, but said investigators recovered photos of the contraband from her phone.
The officer and inmate had sex on Oct. 18, according to a warrant. The sex act was also recorded on her phone.
On Friday, the correctional officer brought a personal weapon, a .25-caliber Kel-Tech pistol, into the prison with her, a warrant said.
Ebonynisha Monique Casby, born 1990, of 4822 Nesbit Ave., North Charleston was arrested Saturday and charged with criminal conspiracy, misconduct in office, first-degree sexual misconduct with inmate and unlawful carrying of a pistol.
She had worked for the state agency for about six months. A booking photo was not immediately available.
The inmate, 33-year-old Darryl A. Fuller, is serving a 30-year sentence on charges of murder and assault with intent to kill in Richland County. He’s been disciplined a number of times for such infractions as having contraband and using a cellphone, and attempted to escape in 2011.
In April, then-acting U.S. attorney for the South Carolina District Beth Drake said South Carolina’s prisons have a “crisis in contraband.” That comment came during a press conference about 14 former prison workers being indicted on federal contraband charges.
State and federal officials have especially taken issue with the stream of cellphones making their way into state prisons.
Smartphones with touch screens and internet capabilities are common contraband, according to federal prosecutors, and prison officials are making a concerted effort to get FCC approval to use cellphone-jamming technology while trying to stymie the tide of smuggled goods into the state’s facilities. More than 7,000 cellphones, or about one for every three inmates, were seized from South Carolina correctional institutions in 2014 and 2015.
In recent years, cellphones have been linked to a ring of inmates who continued to run their drug operation from behind bars, a prisoner’s attempt to buy a mail bomb so he could try again to kill his ex-wife — his last attempt earned him a 50-year sentence — and prisons chief Bryan Stirling blamed cellphones for the spread of the April riot at Lee Correctional across three dorms. Those riots left seven dead and at least 21 injured.