Tenn. deputy accused of sneaking drugs to inmates

Associated Press • May 22, 2013 at 3:18 PM

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — The Rutherford County sheriff has fired a deputy who he said was sneaking in contraband to jail inmates.Sheriff Robert Arnold terminated the employment of Deputy Keith Knowles on May 10. The sheriff said he was disappointed to find a deputy with a long career was supplying inmates with forbidden items."It is very disappointing to me to have a deputy with a long career with the sheriff's office allegedly bring contraband to inmates," Arnold said.The Daily News Journal reported the department launched an investigation earlier this month after receiving reports that an officer brought a cellphone and tobacco to inmates. Marijuana was also reportedly brought in.Arnold said Knowles gave a statement that resulted in his firing."We will present all our evidence to the district attorney's office for review of prosecution," Arnold said.While Knowles was being interviewed by the department's Office of Professional Responsibility, more than 800 inmates and the cells were searched for contraband. Arnold said the shakedown found cigarettes and tobacco, which are not allowed in the jail."It is my goal as sheriff that inmates are kept in a humane environment free of contraband from the outside," Arnold said.

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