Jail smuggling operation broken up, authorities say

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A marijuana smuggling operation has been broken up at the Holding Center in downtown Buffalo, according to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.

Four inmates and a Buffalo woman have been arrested and charged in connection with incident.

Tianna Hunter, 24, is charged with a felony count of introducing contraband into a prison. She’s also facing conspiracy and drug charges.

“She shows up to visit an individual and it turns out she ends up in the same spot that he is, in the holding center and charged with a crime,” said D.J. Granville, chief of narcotics for the sheriff’s office.

Granville says his unit was acting on information developed by the Jail Management Intelligence Unit.

He says a search warrant was executed, and that Hunter turned over a balloon containing marijuana that she was carrying.

“She was in possession of a quantity of marijuana, matches and some rolling papers. She retrieved it from her person and turned it over to us,” Granville said.

Hunter was arrested and charged with a felony count of introducing contraband into a prison, along with misdemeanor counts of conspiracy and criminal sale of marijuana.

“She was generally cooperative. Obviously, upset that she was caught,” he added.

In addition to Hunter, four inmates already being held on unrelated incidents, are now facing contraband and conspiracy charges.

The inmates, all from Buffalo, are identified as Melvin Williams, 20; Demetrise Oaks, 36; Indaleccio Rodriguez, 27; and Dijon Brown, 24.

They have been charged with felony attempt to possess prison contraband and conspiracy.

Granville says beyond the obvious, this kind of activity can cause other problems inside the jail.

“The problem for us and the jail management division is, if somebody is in possession of contraband in the holding center, other inmates get word of this. It could cause, it has caused altercations. It’s caused assaults and incidents where our jail management personnel have to respond,” Granville said.

The investigation spanned several months.

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