Work release inmates caught in the act smuggling drugs into jail

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

MANCHESTER, Ky (WYMT) - They were caught in the act trying to smuggle drugs into the Clay County Jail.

Now three inmates are facing more charges and two additional people were arrested after police witnessed a drug drop where work release inmates were expected to be the next day.

"It's pretty common, especially on work release that there are drug drops to these individuals," said Clay County Sheriff Kevin Johnson.

The investigation started at a golf course in Clay County Sunday night.

Several law enforcement officers were standing in the parking lot when they noticed a car make a loop around the parking lot.

It turns out, police say that car was at the golf course to drop off marijuana and suboxone strips for work release inmates.

After the drop Sunday night, police recovered the drugs and held them in evidence overnight. They replaced them the next morning.

"We had laid in the woods and "camo-ed" up to watch these individuals, and sure enough they came up the road on the golf cart and the Middleton subject bailed off and retrieved the narcotics," said Johnson.

Police say Todd Ruth and James Garner Middleton were the two work release inmates who attempted to smuggle the drugs back into the jail, but two additional people were also arrested.

"While at the scene dealing with two inmates in question, the father and brother of one of the inmates in question also shows up trying to bring narcotics to the other inmate," said Johnson.

Steven N. Ruth and Steven Wayne Ruth were then arrested.

A third inmate Jason Andrew Cottingim is also facing additional charges. Police say he was orchestrating the drug drops by a cell phone found in his jail cell.

"This sends a message that if you are on work release, and you are having your loved ones, your parents drop drugs off to you, we are not only going to charge them we are going to charge you," said Johnson.

Police are still looking for the person who made the initial drop Sunday night.

The five are facing multiple drug trafficking and promoting contraband charges.

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