SEDGWICK COUNTY—Law enforcement authorities are investigating a major security breach at the Sedgwick County Jail.
On July 17, authorities learned that inmates had removed a pipe from a sink in a day room. They used the pipe to pound on a window in a cell to create a fist sized hole in the window, according to Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter.
The inmates later lowered a sheet through the hole to a person outside the jail who was contacted through the facility's phone system. That person delivered cell phones and marijuana to the inmates.
Through additional investigation, the sheriff's office learned the inmates expected three more deliveries that day. The deliveries included the introduction of a handgun into the jail, according to Easter.
Investigators also learned that almost twenty shanks, or improvised weapons, had been created inside the jail this month. Much of the activity was in conjunction with violence that prompted the lockdown of the Lansing Correctional Facility on July 15, according to Easter. The incident sent one prisoner to the hospital and left at least three corrections employees injured. Two leaders of a gang at Lansing, the state's largest and oldest prison for adult men, used to be in the Sedgwick County Jail.
Several inmates, affiliated with the same gang and still housed in Sedgwick County were planning similar violence, according to Easter.
While investigating the incident in Sedgwick County, the on-duty deputy in that area of the jail observed inmates break the window, bring the contraband into the facility and didn't stop it or inform anyone it occurred. He also did not give investigators the full story about the incident when confronted about it, according to Easter.
After further investigation of the jail deputy identified as 22-year-old Dustin Burnett, he was arrested on requested charges of official misconduct and conspiracy to traffic contraband into a penal institution. Burnett had been employed by the jail since January and was terminated upon his arrest.
On Wednesday, the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office conducted a mass search of the entire 1,226 bed Adult Detention Facility after receiving creditable information about the contraband being introduced to the facility. A team comprised of 169 members of the Sheriff’s Office took over six hours to complete the search.
During the search deputies found fentanyl pills, shanks or items that could be made into dangerous weapons, a handcuff key, possible K2 and a butane lighter.
Also during the search, a medical emergency occurred in one of the housing units where an inmate was found unresponsive in the housing unit gymnasium. Medical staff responded quickly and was able to revive the inmate after administering four doses of Narcan. As a precaution the inmate was transported to a local area hospital for treatment, but has since been returned to the Detention Facility.
While the inmate was being treated in the housing unit he was found in possession of the six pills believed to be fentanyl. The 26-year-old white male is being held on Aggravated Assault, Criminal Poss of a Firearm, Flee and Elude Law Enforcement and Drug Charges