A drug and contraband smuggling operation at the Oklahoma County Detention Center was shut down earlier this year, according to jail staff. Six men are charged with coordinating multiple exchanges in March and April.
“Anyone who knows this building knows that there’s always been a problem over the years of being able to just dig a hole outside the building,” Mark Opgrande, spokesperson for the jail said.
Preston Barnard, Kevin Folks, and Glenn Marshall were cellmates on the 10th floor of the jail who allegedly carved out a hole in the wall to overlook the employee parking lot on the north side of the building.
Opgrande said the three made the hole using improvised tools and used a “paste” to cover the hole during inspections.
“These people are in their cells for long periods of time,” Opgrande said. “In this case they happened to make a hole that happened to be big enough to pull up all of this contraband.”
Curtis Whittington, an officer with the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority which oversees the jail, wrote in a probable cause affidavit that officers were made aware of the operation by a confidential informant in early March.
Within a week of the informant’s tip, an officer on a smoke break in the employee parking lot, saw someone run up to the bedsheets hanging from the 10th floor, tie on a bag, then saw the sheets be pulled into the wall.
“Some detention officers had witnessed the string hanging from the side of the building with a bag tied to it,” Opgrande said.
Jail staff searched the cell to find 23 phones, half a pound of marijuana, a pound of tobacco, a syringe, and other items. An officer was “stuck” by the used syringe in the finger during the search, according to the affidavit.
A fourth inmate, Izayah Jenkins, allegedly coordinated the exchanges with Dominic Buckaloo.
Buckaloo and Jeremy Haggard are accused of operating as the suppliers of the operation.
On April 11, detention center officers waited in cars for an exchange that was planned by the confidential informant, according to the affidavit.
Haggard ran up to the bed sheets and was met by several officers climbing out of their cars. Officers arrested Haggard without incident. His bag allegedly contained more marijuana and tobacco, as well as meth, heroin and Xanax.
Opgrande said repairs have been made to the cell.
“It’s a constant struggle,” he said. “Over the years, when we find these (holes) you got to be vigilant, and you got to take action right away.”