Inmate faces contraband charge

Published 9:48 am Monday, September 14, 2015

Jeffery Holmes

Jeffery Holmes

An inmate at the Carter County Detention Center is facing more charges after police say he smuggled prescription medication into the facility when he returned from his work detail.
Officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department arrested Jeffery Conover Holmes, 22, of 610 S. Watauga St., Elizabethton, Thursday and charged him with introduction of contraband into a penal facility and possession of a legend drug without a prescription.
Holmes is serving time on a violation of probation conviction. He had been placed on probation after being convicted of theft and burglary charges.
During his incarceration at the detention center, Holmes was granted trusty status and assigned to an inmate work detail at the Carter County Recycling Center.
Detention Center staff received an anonymous tip on Thursday that Holmes would be picking up prescription pills while on his work assignment and would then attempt to smuggle them into the jail when he returned from work, CCSD Deputy Chief Investigator Mike Little said.
When Holmes returned to the detention center, officers confronted him with the information. As part of the investigation, Holmes was X-rayed by medical staff and “a foreign object” was found concealed within his body, Little said.
Holmes turned the object over to investigators, who found it was a package about 3 inches long and 1 inch in diameter and wrapped in black electrical tape. Inside the package, officers found 20 pills of two different types of prescription medication, Little said.
When Little asked Holmes about the pills, the inmate said they were for his personal use and he had been told about the pills by another inmate.
“Holmes advised me there were more pills at the Recycling Center, and gave me a proximate location as to where they would be found,” Little said.
Little and CCSD Lt. Robbie Fritts then went to the Recycling Center, where they met with Carter County Solid Waste Manager Benny Lyons. After a search of the area where Holmes said the drugs could be found, Little said officers located more than 100 prescription pills along with other inmate contraband.
While the pills Holmes attempted to smuggle into the detention center are not narcotics, Little said a prescription is required to legally obtain those medication, which classifies them under state law as “legend drugs” as opposed to “schedule drugs.”
Holmes was arraigned in Carter County General Sessions Court on Friday. Judge Keith Bowers appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent Holmes on the new charges and scheduled him to return to court on Sept. 29.

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