Sgt. Casonja Crowder, 34, has been charged with felony conspiracy to deliver marijuana and suboxone to an inmate and felony possession of marijuana and suboxone, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said in a news release late Monday.
Suboxone is used to reduce symptoms of opiate addiction and withdrawal, but addiction to the drug “is a real problem,” according to American Addiction Centers.org.
Crowder had been with the department since 2015, according to the news release. Her arrest followed an internal investigation,
prison officials said.
“The department appreciates the local law enforcement collaboration in making this arrest for these very serious charges,” Kenneth Lassiter, director of North Carolina prisons, said in the news release. “I want to commend our special operations team and management at the facility for taking action and preventing these drugs from entering the facility.”
The investigation is ongoing and no other information will be released, the department’s news release said.
In April, The Charlotte Observer reported that most employees who have been charged with committing crimes in North Carolina’s prisons have received little or no punishment, according to a state review conducted at the request of lawmakers.
From 2013 through 2017, 57 prison employees were charged with crimes while on duty, according to the state Department of Public Safety’s review, the Observer reported.
Four of the 57 employees got prison time, according to the report. Thirty got probation. And most of the criminal charges — about 60 percent — were dismissed.
In a series of stories published last year, the Observer showed that a hidden world of drugs, sex and gang violence thrives in North Carolina’s prisons — and that officers who are paid to prevent such corruption are instead fueling it.
State lawmakers later asked DPS to provide information about employees charged with committing crimes on the job. Most of the cases in the state review involved employees who allegedly tried to bring in contraband, such as drugs, cellphones or tobacco. Other employees were accused of having sex with inmates.