EATON — Over nine months after an investigation was launched, a Preble County grand jury indicted a former corrections officer on Feb. 5, for crimes related to transporting contraband into the jail.
According to Sheriff Mike Simpson, the Preble County Sheriff’s Office began an internal investigation on April 27, 2017, after learning a staff member was accused of bringing contraband into the jail and receiving payment for doing so.
The corrections officer, Jared Rivers, 21, of West Alexandria, was immediately placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the internal investigation, Simpson said.
Based on the internal investigation, a predisciplinary conference was scheduled for Rivers on May 10, 2017, to allow him to answer to several policy violations.
According to Simpson, Rivers submitted his resignation to the Preble Cou ty Sheriff’s Office on May 9, 2017.
“During the course of the internal investigation, supervisors found probable cause to believe that crimes had been committed,” Simpson said in a press release this week. “After consultation with the Preble County Prosecutor’s Office, a request was made to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for a special prosecutor to be assigned to this case.”
Investigators continued the investigation over the past several months. According to Simpson, the investigation determined Rivers, on several occasions, delivered small packages to an inmate while he was working, and was paid by a third party to do so.
Rivers was interviewed by investigators and cooperated with the investigation, Simpson said.
The grand jury returned a six-count indictment, charging Rivers with five counts bribery, all third-degree felonies and one count dereliction of duty, a second-degree misdemeanor.
“Rivers was arrested without incident and housed in an adjoining county jail,” Simpson reported.
He was scheduled to appear in Preble County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday, Feb. 6, for his initial arraignment. A jury trial for Rivers has been set for Monday, April 9, at 8:30 a.m.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.