Correction Officer Arrested After Undercover Sting - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Correction Officer Arrested After Undercover Sting

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Police said a correction officer at Riverbend Prison was helping continue criminal activity inside the maximum security institution. An undercover sting landed the officer in jail.

Investigators said Kenneth Ward was trying to make a little extra cash by smuggling drugs into the prison, but he didn't know who he was dealing with.

The razor wire at Riverbend keeps inmates from getting out, but it does not stop the problems from getting in.

"Just because someone's in prison doesn't mean they automatically stop their criminal behavior," said Dorinda Carter, Tenn. Dept. of Correction.

Once inside, prisoners try to get around the rules to keep up with their criminal ways.

"People will attempt to compromise security by paying officers, or visitors or people who go into the institution to deliver contraband to inmates," said Carter.

The Department of Correction said one of their own, Ward, made a deal with someone he thought was a friend of an inmate to smuggle in drugs.

"That person was actually a Tennessee Department of Correction internal affairs agent, working undercover," said Carter.

The TDOC said the correction officer made a deal to bring in an ounce of marijuana, and got paid $200 to do it. Undercover agents got to Ward before the contraband got to the inmate.

The Department of Correction said the vast majority of employees follow the rules, but they know there are a few bad ones in the bunch.

Security at Riverbend, and all state institutions, is tight and those undercover agents blend right in ready and watching.

"We will take action against employees, against visitors, against anyone who tries to assist an inmate in continuing criminal activity inside the prison," said Carter.

Ward has been a correction officer at Riverbend for the last two years. He faces administrative disciplinary action within the department because of his arrest.

The drug transaction with the undercover agent did not happen at Riverbend. Police said Ward went to an address on Charlotte Avenue to pick up the marijuana and his $200.

Ward also has two criminal charges to deal with outside the prison wall, one for trying to bring contraband into a penal institution and possession of a controlled substance.

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