More arrests could be coming after failed attempt to bribe Morgan County jailer

The Morgan County Drug Task Force, the Morgan County Criminal Investigation Division and Morgan County jail staff were involved in the operation.

Posted: Dec 4, 2019 2:31 PM
Updated: Dec 5, 2019 9:22 AM

The Morgan County Sheriff's Office says more arrests could come after a woman's attempt to bribe a jail employee with $500 didn't go as she planned.

25-year-old Marquita Gary is behind bars, without bond, after the sheriff's office says she tried to get a jailer to smuggle synthetic narcotics, Xanax, and four cell phones into the jail. But little did she know the jailer was an undercover investigator. 

Credit: Morgan County Sheriff’s Office

"This began by an inmate propositioning one of our correction officers saying, would you like to make some money and get this stuff in here?" Mike Swafford, with the Morgan County Sheriff's Office, explained. 

Swafford says an inmate told a correction officer about Gary, a Decatur woman, who would help sneak in contraband. He says the jailer alerted officers about the offer immediately and investigators had to find out how true this was.

"What was unique about it was we had an investigator go undercover, play the role as jailer, and help Ms. Gary attempt to go through with their plan," Swafford said.

Swafford says in the first meeting, Gary offered money to the undercover investigator. She returned on a different day with multiple narcotics and cellphones.They had a deal, so it seemed.

Gary was officially arrested on December 2nd and is charged with two counts for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance. 

Swafford says the drugs could have been laced with Fentanyl, making them potentially deadly, and the cell phones could serve a dangerous purpose.

"That could be used to harass victims, that can be used to arrange other events, an attempt to escape, bring more contraband in the jail," Swafford said.

The sheriff's office says investigators don't normally go undercover in these cases. They say contraband busts are more common than you'd think and one Decatur woman doesn't see it stopping.

"They'll probably keep doing it, unless somebody does stop them," Jennie Odway said. 

This case isn't closed. The sheriff's office says this is still an ongoing investigation. They believe Gary's arrest could lead to even more.

"There seem to be threads that lead us to other individuals and we are still looking at that, there's potential for more," Swafford said.

During the investigation, agents recovered more of the synthetic narcotic and more Xanax, along with crack cocaine and a pistol from Gary's home, the sheriff's office says.

------------------------

FROM EARLIER:

Authorities have concluded a weeks long investigation into contraband being brought into the Morgan County Jail.

The Morgan County Sheriff's Office says agents and investigators executed an undercover operation on Dec. 2 that resulted in the arrest of Marquita Gary, 25, of Decatur.

The department says Gary met with a "jailer" on two occasions, and during the first meeting, she brought $500 for the "jailer" as payment. During the second meeting, Gary is accused of bringing four cellphones, a synthetic narcotic and Xanax. She was detained after this meeting.

During the investigation, agents recovered more of the synthetic narcotic and more Xanax, along with crack cocaine and a pistol from Gary's home, the sheriff's office says.

Gary is charged with two counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a controlled substance (cocaine).

She was taken to the Morgan County Jail. She has no bond.

The Morgan County Drug Task Force, the Morgan County Criminal Investigation Division and Morgan County jail staff were involved in the operation.

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