LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. — Ten people were arrested after they were accused of trying to smuggle drugs into the jail, including a 77-year-old woman accused of trying to get drugs to her grandson.
Lt. Nathan Neese, of the Lawrence County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Office, said the investigation began when corrections officers learned of contraband being smuggled into the jail.
Neese said the 10 are accused of bringing in primarily prescription narcotics, but one person tried to smuggle in meth.
Those arrested included four inmates: Michael G. Lynch, 30, of Gainesboro, Tenn.; Jason E. Clayton, 30, of Iron City, Tenn.; Kyle D. Davis, 32, of Iron City; and Christopher Prince, 40, of Lawrenceburg, Tenn.
Also arrested were Clorene Allen, 77, of Gainesboro; Shirley Allen, 52, of Gainesboro; Kimberly Carrol, 44, of Hohenwald, Tenn.; Angie Stooksberry, 27, of Iron City; Michael R. Lynch, 54, Gainesboro; and Mallory Wooden, 23, who has connections to Hohenwald and Madison, in Alabama.
“They had quite a racket going on,” Capt. Adam Brewer said. “And we don’t know how long it had been going on before we got word of it.”
Authorities said investigators, working with Lawrence County drug agents and Jackson County deputies, conducted an investigation for about two weeks before making the arrests.
Officials said the charges include introduction of contraband into a penal institution and criminal conspiracy.
Wooden is accused of trying to smuggle meth into the jail and was charged with possession of methamphetamine for resale, attempted introduction of contraband into a penal institution and possession of drug paraphernalia, officials said.
Brewer said they were smuggling in Suboxone strips. The drug is an opium product used to treat narcotic addiction.
“They use it to get high,” Brewer said.
Brewer said Clorene Allen is the grandmother of Michael G. Lynch.
She and Shirley J. Allen, Lynch’s mother, are accused of shipping the drugs by mail from Jackson County, near the Kentucky state line, to friends in Lawrence County, who would then smuggle the drugs into the jail.
“They were taking the strips and putting them under stamps,” Brewer said. “The stamps were in books or on letters or cards, and once they got into the jail, the inmates would peel the stamp off, peel off the strips and chew them up.”
Neese said officials learned about the operation after listening to the inmates communicating with people outside the jail by telephone and video visitation.
“All of those conversations are recorded and they made the transactions on those recordings. I guess they didn’t realize we were listening,” Neese said.
“I’m just glad we were able to get this stopped and get the people responsible in jail,” Brewer said.
The 10 suspects are all being held in the Lawrence County Jail.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.