An employee at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center was arrested Friday and charged with attempting to introduce contraband to the CoreCivic-owned prison.
Shinitara Neikia Kemp, 34, of Clarksdale, Miss., was arrested after arriving for work at the prison early on the morning of April 17. She was reportedly a correctional officer brought in for temporary duty from another CoreCivic facility.
Arrest affidavits obtained by The Vidette stated that during a patdown of Kemp, security personnel found a package in her pants pocket. Three similar packages were reportedly found in a restroom that Kemp had exited as well.
The Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department was called and opened the packages, which allegedly contained 14.75 ounces of marijuana. Kemp reportedly told investigators she was being paid $2,000 by an inmate, identified as David Von Brown, to bring the contraband into the prison.
Kemp’s vehicle was searched and a loaded 9mm pistol was reportedly discovered.
CoreCivic spokesman Ryan Gustin issued the following statement: “On Friday, April 17, Correctional Officer Shinitara Kemp was caught at checkpoint attempting to introduce drugs into the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center. This incident was immediately reported to the Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department (TCSD) and our government partner, Tennessee Department of Correction. TCSD responded to the facility and arrested this individual for attempted introduction of contraband into a correctional facility. A search of the individual’s vehicle, incident to arrest, resulted in the discovery of a weapon.
“We are cooperating fully with the investigation and the arrested individual’s employment has been terminated.
“CoreCivic has a zero-tolerance policy for the introduction of contraband into our facilities and our actions in this matter reflect that.”
Kemp was charged with attempting to introduce contraband to a penal facility, possession of Schedule VI for resale, unlawful drug paraphernalia and possession of a weapon during a felony.
Kemp was booked into the Trousdale County Jail and released on $41,500 bond. She is scheduled to appear in general sessions court on June 12.
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected]