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Three arrested in contraband investigation

Prohibited items including a pre-paid cellphone seized

By Jeremy D. Wells

Carter County Times

A Carter County man’s cravings for nicotine and contact with the outside world have led to the arrest of three other individuals – including his parents.

Thirty-three-year-old Kevin Carroll, of Grayson, has been incarcerated at the Carter County Detention Center since May on a parole violation. But it was his actions over the weekend that drew the attention of jail staff and culminated in the arrests of a food service contractor on Sunday and then his parents Monday afternoon.

Sergeant Matt Moore, an internal affairs investigator at the jail explained that they were already investigating the kitchen contractor crew and a few of their trustees because of suspicion that contraband was being brought into the facility.

“We intercepted this information through inmate notes, from one cell to another,” Moore said.

After that, he said, it was simply a matter of keeping an eye on the players involved.

“I watched him for about a week, maybe two, and then yesterday is when I got a phone call from the supervisor on shift saying, “Hey, look, it’s kind of fishy. This guy… he’s been trying to get out of his cell and go the kitchen all day long. He’s practically clawing at the door.”

So, Moore said, he started watching and eventually did a search of Carroll’s person after sending everyone else back to their cell. Then, he said, they went and interviewed the cook, Kierston Callicoat, 21, of Ashland – an employee with Kellwell, the provider who holds the food service contract for the facility.

“It didn’t take long,” Moore said, noting she, “confessed to everything.”

He said Carroll and other inmates involved in the contraband scheme had “manipulated and forced her into this,” playing on her sympathies.

“She felt bad for them,” he said.

But, he continued, “she still complied with it. At the end of the day… she assisted us every step of the way, in trying to locate the phone. She told us the phone had been dropped earlier that day. She told us how she got the phone, and who she got it from. She didn’t know their names, but she knew who they were in relation to (Carroll).”

Those individuals, it turned out, where Carroll’s parents – 64-year-old Ronald Carroll and 58-year-old Barbara Carroll, also of Grayson.

All three individuals have been charged with first degree promoting contraband, a Class D Felony that carries a penalty of from one to five years in prison and fine of up to $10,000.

While cigarettes and nicotine vape cartridges might not seem like a significant breach of security, Moore said, the cell phone is a very serious, and dangerous, violation. Cell phones could be used to coordinate the delivery of other, more dangerous contraband. They could also be used to help target jail staff during prisoner transports or at the end of a shift, among other potentially dangerous uses.

In that respect, Moore said, phones are considered almost as dangerous as guns.

“Effectively, the mentality we had is, ‘There’s a loaded gun somewhere in this facility,’ and for that reason… we hunted it down (and) we located it.”

Grayson police were then able to act on the information the detention center’s investigation obtained to arrest Ronald and Barbara Carroll on Monday afternoon.

Moore and jailer R.W. Boggs both noted that the jail takes contraband very seriously and staff are always vigilantly watching for violations.

“I’m very saddened by anyone who tries to get contraband into the jail, but it’s a constant threat that we continually monitor,” Boggs said. “I am, however, very proud of my team. I have an internal investigator whose primary job is to stay ahead of such activity. He, along with the rest of our team,

caught this and continue to keep our jail safe.”
He also issued a warning to anyone else who might consider testing the detention center’s security.

“Those involved will be tried and convicted,” Boggs said. “I would warn anyone who attempts this – be it for friends, family, or profit – it’s not worth your efforts.”
Boggs also extended his appreciation to the Grayson police department for their assistance in the operation.

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com


Indictments: 5/5/23


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