Police step up prison probe
Lawmen have widened their probe into Her Majesty’s Prison, Dodds, a day after Barbados TODAY reported that a prison officer had found himself at centre of a contraband investigation.
According to initial reports, the officer became the centre of attention after illegal drugs were allegedly found in shoes stored in a locker.
However, this country’s crime chief has denied that illegal drugs were involved. The Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police responsible for Crime Management, Lybron Sobers, told Barbados TODAY this afternoon, investigators were really seeking to get to the bottom of a number of unauthorized letters that have been making their way in and out of the St Philip penal institution.
“I haven’t seen the letters, I don’t know the contents, but we are wondering or checking how letters are entering and exiting the prison to individuals,” Sobers said.
In this regard, he said lawmen were currently questioning a number of people, both in and outside of Dodds prison and including several prison officers.
Asked if the letters were linked to any recent crimes, the Acting ACP replied: “At this point you don’t know what would be the result.” However, he said the matter was of serious concern to police.
Today, Superintendent of Prisons Colonel John Nurse could not be reached for comment, but late this evening police released a statement in which they said Shawn McDonald Herbert, a 41-year-old prison officer of Olivies Gap, Tudor Bridge St Michael, had been charged with committing a number of offences stipulated in the Prison Act.
These offences are: without lawful authority gave a number of letters and photographs to a prisoner; without lawful authority suffered a number of letters and photographs out of Her Majesty Prison Dodds and without lawful authority attempted to convey a number of letters and photographs to a prisoner.
The offences were committed sometime between June 17, 2016 and September 14 and lawmen said as a result of information received, prison authorities conducted a search of the cells of a prisoner where a number of unauthorized letters and photographs were discovered.
Follow up investigation and a subsequent search of Herbert revealed a number of unauthorized letters and photographs in his possession.
He is expected to appear before the District ‘C’ Magistrate Court on Friday.