Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Department is tightening up rules after six inmates who worked at Pontotoc County Agri-plex tested positive for methamphetamine usage.
A police report filed by Deputy Michael Hurley said Brenda Gilstrap, Agri-plex manager and director of marketing and tourism, reported a bag found at the rear of the Agri-plex’s outdoor arena.
“One of the employees found a bag with some pop in it along with a small, clear baggy that contained two smaller black baggies with a crystal substance in them,” the report said.
Sheriff John Christian said the substance turned out to be methamphetamine. Six inmates, who work as trustees at the Agri-Plex, were drug tested.
“All six were positive for methamphetamine,” Christian said. “Naturally, those six’s privileges have all been revoked.”
He said the six inmates will no longer be eligible to work as trustees at the Agri-plex.
In addition, Christian is placing a time restriction on when future trustees can leave and when they must be returned.
He said he would also be reducing the number of trustees allowed to work at the Agri-plex.
“I’m making the work schedule smaller than what it has been in the past,” he said. “They will be supervised with staff present with them at all times.”
He said Agri-Plex staff should have been supervising them at all times before this incident.
“Somewhere there was a lapse in that supervision,” he said.
Gilstrap said no visitors will be allowed for trustees in the future.
Gary Starns, Pontotoc County commissioner for district one, said if people are caught bringing drugs to the prisoners, they will be arrested.
Gilstrap and Christian said the trustees save the county money by working at the Agri-Plex.
“The trustees out here are a valuable asset,” she said. “The Agri-Plex has got to tighten up and have a set of rules just like they were in jail.”
She said there are currently two Agri-Plex employees who supervise the trustees and the county will be hiring another.