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Two plead guilty to sneaking tobacco products into prison

July 23, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

Two county residents pleaded guilty Thursday to charges they tried to smuggle tobacco products into Roxbury Correctional Institution, court record say.

Sheila L. Waters, 52, of Sharpsburg, and Herbert J. Swain Sr., 54, of Hancock, each pleaded guilty to one count of possession of contraband with intent to deliver and received probation before judgment before Washington County District Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr., according to records.

Long sentenced Waters and Swain, who were both employed by the Maryland Division of Correction at the time of the incident, to one year of probation, fined each $500 and prohibited them from entering Maryland Division of Correction property, record say.

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Waters, who was a correctional dietary officer, and Swain, whose position at the prison was not released in documents, were charged with attempting to take concealed tobacco products into RCI south of Hagerstown. Tobacco products have been banned at the prison since July 2001.

According to charging documents, staff members found 115 grams of smoking tobacco inside a plastic bag concealed at the bottom of Waters' tote bag when she tried to enter the prison on Feb. 5. Staff found 214 grams of smoking tobacco and five packs of rolling papers in Swain's waistband and shoes when he was searched on the same day, according to documents.

Waters told investigators that she had been purchasing and packaging smoking tobacco to be taken to the prison since November 2003, documents say. Waters said she would take them to the prison for six "hard-core smokers," put the products on top of a trash can and "then I tell them where to get it," documents say.

Ron Leverette, a spokesman for the Division of Correction, said he could not comment on the employment status of either because he has not yet seen official court documents.

Waters declined to comment on the case Thursday when reached at her Sharpsburg home.

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