St. Martin Parish jailer accused of smuggling cell phones to inmates _lowres

Christopher Lee

St. Martin Parish deputies on Friday arrested a jailer accused of smuggling cellphones to inmates at the parish jail, marking the fourth arrest of a Sheriff’s Office employee this year.

Christopher Lee, 22, of St. Martinville, was booked on one count each of malfeasance in office and introducing contraband into a penal institute, the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Lee had been working for the Sheriff’s Office since January. He remained in jail Friday afternoon in lieu of $20,000 bail.

No common factor is immediately evident in the incidents, aside from a shared employer.

Former school resource officer Michael Barber, 39, of Breaux Bridge, was booked in February on one count each of attempted production of child pornography, indecent behavior with a juvenile and malfeasance in office. He had worked with the Sheriff’s Office for 15 years.

Brian Reyes, 30, of New Iberia, and 42-year-old John Brown, of St. Martinville, also were booked in February on accusations of perjury and falsifying arrest reports in at least one drug case. The two had worked as deputies for the Sheriff’s Office for at least two years, as the falsified report was taken in May 2013.

Charges against the accused person in that incident were dropped, Assistant District Attorney Chester Cedars said.

Sheriff Ronny Theriot was not available late Friday for comment about the spate of arrests.

Follow Lanie Lee Cook on Twitter, @lanieleecook, or call her at (337) 534-0825.