Contraband lands women behind bars

Published 8:04 am Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Two Brewton area women were arrested and charged Monday after officers with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department acted on a tip that the women were trying to pass contraband to someone on the department’s new work crew.

Felecia Barton, 40, of East Brewton and Nakiya Hardy, 20, of Brewton were both arrested on charges of second-degree promoting prison contraband, according to sheriff’s officials. They were arrested in the parking lot at Church’s after a traffic stop Monday.

Escambia County Chief Deputy Mike Lambert said officers received a tip about the incident that led to the arrests.

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“We had gotten word that a vehicle had stopped and put an unknown object inside a trash bag where our work crews were working along the roadways in the county,” Lambert said Monday. “We followed that tip and were able to arrest the people responsible.”

The work crews targeted in the incident are part of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department’s efforts to put inmates to work for the county. The crews are currently focusing on riding the county roadways of trash, garbage and debris. Sheriff Grover Smith has said that work crew members will be chosen carefully and will also be monitored carefully.

According a sheriff’s office press release, a vehicle reportedly stopped along an area of Foshee Road where members of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office work crew had been working.

Acting on the tip, investigators and deputies conducted a traffic stop on the suspected vehicle on Persimmon Street in Brewton. A search of the vehicle and the trash bag was made. Officers recovered 10 packages of tobacco and one package of a potpourri substance.

When questioned, the two suspects admitted their part in the incident, officials said. Both were taken into custody at the traffic stop location.

Hardy was already on bond from a previous charge of promoting prison contraband. A bond revocation request is being entered in Hardy’s case, officials said.

Bond for both suspects was set at $10,000 each. The case remains under investigation.