Montgomery Police Expand Investigation Into City Jail Contraband

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By Tamika Bickham

There's been a bit of a shake up at the Montgomery City Jail in the past few weeks. Federal inmates have been taken out, the warden was reassigned, and several correctional officers have been fired. Police Chief Kevin Murphy says that's likely not the end of it.

"The safety and security of the jail can not be left to chance," said Chief Murphy.

It's outlined on the city's website where it says the jail goals are "the proactive safekeeping and care of prisoners", but it seems that may have been compromised.

"Our concern is for the safety of correctional officers, the marshals service, and our inmates," said Chief Murphy, "we are focusing on what appears to be a degradation of safety protocols that extends beyond the initial allegations."

The initial allegations came last month when Montgomery Police received information alleging an inmate received contraband provided by correctional officers.

"As a result of that initial investigation, MPD arrested two correctional officers," said Chief Murphy.

Meekea James and Brenda Myrick were fired and charged with promoting prison contraband, and now police say a third correctional officer will be terminated, although hasn't been charged.

The issue raised concerns with the U.S. Marshals Service and they removed 60 federal inmates. Control of the jail has also been handed over to Chief of Staff, Brenda Mitchell.

"I have temporarily reassigned the warden to other duties within the Department of Public Safety," said Chief Murphy.

He didn't go into further detail, but the warden, James Carter, remains pictured here on the city's website.

As for what type of contraband was found inside, police are not saying.

"Contraband can be a variety of things and not just weapons, but what was found caused us enough concern to take these actions," said Chief Murphy.

He says he expects there to be more arrests and possibly more terminations.

Montgomery Police is handling the criminal investigation and the Office of City Investigations is handling the investigation into jail protocol.

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