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Man charged with conspiracy to traffic with inmate, says DOC

BY ANTHONY LOMBARDI - alombardi@perutribune.com

An Aramark employee at the Miami Correctional Facility in Bunker Hill was arrested on charges that include sexual misconduct with an inmate and conspiracy to traffic, according to an MCF press release.

Perry K. Von-Reese, 21, 2517 W. 11th St., in Anderson, reported to his job at the prison on Tuesday and was questioned by Indiana Department of Corrections Intelligence and Investigation personnel, the press release said.

DOC Deputy Chief Investigator Jaime Raderstorf arrested Von-Reese, who was transported to the Miami County Jail. He’s charged with conspiracy to traffic with an inmate, a Level 5 felony, sexual misconduct, a Level 5 felony, dealing synthetic marijuana, a Level 5 felony and possession of synthetic marijuana, a misdemeanor. Von-Reese is being held on a $33,000 bond, according to jail records.

An arrest log from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office shows Von-Reese was taken into custody around noon.

“We take any alleged misconduct by staff very seriously,” MCF’s Superintendent Kathy Griffin said. “Our Investigation and Intelligence Division works diligently to ensure the safety and security of all.”

Aramark has a contract to provide food services to the Department of Corrections facility, and Von-Reese had been working for the company for about four or five months, Raderstorf said. 

The arrest is at least the third this year at the facility involving charges of trafficking.

On Feb. 5, Aramark employee Jessie A. Culbertson was allegedly stopped at visitor processing at the Miami County facility with 3.09 ounces of synthetic marijuana (K2), 1.02 ounces of meth and 90 Suboxone strips, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Culbertson allegedly admitted to a DOC investigator that he brought in a package of drugs with the intent to sell to an offender that worked with him in the food service, as documented in an affidavit. Culbertson allegedly told investigators that he received $250 for trafficking the drugs.

During an interview with prison personnel, Culbertson allegedly told them he had more drugs in his vehicle. Officers said they found a bag in the front passenger seat of Culbertson’s car that contained two additional packages, according to the affidavit. The first package contained 6.51 ounces of K2. The second contained 4.84 ounces of K2, the affidavit said.

Culbertson was initially charged with trafficking with an inmate, a Level 5 felony, possession of methamphetamine, Level 5, dealing in a controlled substance, Level 5, dealing in methamphetamine, Level 5, and possession of a controlled substance, Level 6, the affidavit said.

Culbertson is scheduled to have a hearing in the case at the Miami County Courthouse on July 11.

On Feb. 20, Rashell Tyler was arrested for allegedly attempting to bring 211 Suboxone strips and 11.1 grams of synthetic marijuana to an offender, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Lorna Harbaugh, Director of Investigations for the MCF, said coworkers notified her that Tyler was supposed to visit an inmate, and that the information came from monitored phone calls indicating that drugs were possibly going to be smuggled into the facility. 

Harbaugh said she approached Tyler when she arrived and asked her if she would follow her to her office. Tyler, who had her one-year-old son with her, complied. 

Harbaugh told Tyler she was concerned that she was carrying drugs and that a K9 unit was going to have to search her before her visit could be approved, according to the affidavit.

From a concealed part of her body, Tyler allegedly produced a clear package that contained five blue balloons. Tyler told Harbaugh she didn’t know what the balloons contained, and that the package was delivered to her mailbox the day before, the affidavit said.

Three balloons contained a total of 211 Suboxone strips marked “N8” and the other two balloons allegedly contained a total of approximately 11.1 grams of synthetic marijuana, the affidavit said.

Tyler further said she wasn’t making any money off of the drugs, and that she was just doing it for the inmate, the affidavit said.

Tyler was initially charged with the Level 5 felony of trafficking with an inmate, dealing in a schedule II, Level 6, dealing in a synthetic drug, Level 6, and possession of a synthetic drug, a class A misdemeanor, the affidavit said. Tyler is also due in Miami County court on July 11. 

MCF is located on the southeast corner of Grissom Aeroplex in Miami County and spans 200 acres. The facility is classified as a Level 4 maximum security correctional facility. The Phase I of the facility houses more than 1,224 offenders including the minimum security facility, which is located outside the secured perimeter of the medium security facility, according to a press release.