Corrections Officer Pleads Guilty To Drug Charges

Date 2013/8/20 4:49:54 | Topic: News

An officer assigned to watch over inmates at the Western Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of possession of drugs with intent to distribute.

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According to the St. Joseph News Press website, Debora Allen, 50, told Buchanan County Circuit Judge Patrick Robb that a white supremacist group sent five inmates to approach her in her work area, making threats to her and her children.

They wanted her to smuggle drugs into the prison. “I panicked and didn’t think it through,” she said.

The men also promised to pay $300 if she delivered, Ms. Allen said. In the end, they never paid a dime, she said.

Ms. Allen said she met a man at a local restaurant who gave her what she believed to be methamphetamine and marijuana.

“I was fully aware of what I was doing,” the defendant said. “I’d gotten scared.”
Ms. Allen said she’d been in previous situations where threats were made in the past. When she reported them, the offenders were locked up for 30 to 90 days.

“Then they were released back into the same area for me to supervise,” Ms. Allen said. “So, I put my integrity and all beliefs to the side.”

The next day, after meeting the man at the restaurant, Ms. Allen said she was caught trying to smuggle the drugs in her sports bra.

Mr. Robb repeatedly questioned the defendant about her right to claim coercion as a defense.
Ms. Allen told the court she’d discussed the matter with her attorney, James Nadolski, and decided to go ahead and plead guilty.

Mr. Robb questioned Rebecca Thomas, an assistant Buchanan County prosecutor, as to what evidence might show during a trial.

The state believes that there were other factors involved including, perhaps, some relationships, she said.

Mr. Robb accepted the guilty plea, ordered a background report and ordered the defendant to return on Sept. 30 for sentencing.



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