Pottawatomie County Jail Guard Accused Of Smuggling In Cellphones, Drugs To Inmates
POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Oklahoma - A Pottawatomie County guard stands accused of selling drugs and cellphones to federal inmates. Investigators said they found evidence inside his vehicle.
“We have got a rampant problem statewide with inmates being smuggled drugs and cellphones, which defeats the purpose of having people in DOC custody, or federal custody or state custody,” said District Attorney Allan Grubb.
“We cannot allow inmates to have cellphones to threaten witnesses, to threaten their victims, we have got to a better job securing these locations and keeping drugs out of these locations,” DA Grubb continued.
On July 4, investigators made a trip to the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center to confront Officer Braiden Hardwick. They took him to a room for questioning, and then tracked down his girlfriend. She also works at the jail.
According to court documents, Hardwick’s girlfriend said they, "have been together for two years and she knew he used meth when they first started dating...".
But she reportedly told investigators she didn't think he was using anymore.
Law enforcement searched the couple's truck and discovered "notes" from inmates inside the vehicle.
“I will a hold anyone accountable who breaks the public's trust,” said DA Grubb.
In the interview, Hardwick was asked if he took any prescription medication, and he replied that he did not, according to the affidavit. He was later tested for drugs, and the results came back positive for opiates.
Hardwick then admitted to bringing in three cellphones, tobacco, meth and other items to the jail, according to court document.
Hardwick’s alleged clients are four federal inmates who were being housed at the local jail.
In total, investigators estimate Hardwick made at least $1,600 dollars off inmates at the jail and was paid in Green Dot cards.
“It appears he had his own drug problem, and that was a motivating factor in this instance,” said DA Grubb.
Hardwick is charged with three felonies.
The DA said he believes Hardwick is in custody at the same facility he once swore to protect.