A former deputy sheriff accused of smuggling contraband into Orleans Parish Prison has been arrested.
Former Sheriff’s Office Deputy Evelyn Tureaud, who resigned Oct. 1 amid an internal investigation, was arrested Saturday and booked with introducing contraband into a prison, according to Sheriff Marlin Gusman.
“This arrest is consistent with this agency’s zero-tolerance policy for contraband,” Gusman said in a news release Sunday. “The Sheriff’s Office will pursue all leads related to contraband, regardless of where our investigation takes us.”
Tureaud was arrested in Jefferson Parish on a warrant obtained by the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office. The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office had reviewed the sheriff’s internal investigation and advised the office there was sufficient evidence to press charges.
Tureaud was stopped by Jefferson Parish authorities about 12:30 p.m. Saturday and transferred to the Sheriff’s Office, where she was booked with 14 counts of introducing contraband into a penal institution. She also was booked with malfeasance of office.
Bail was set at $34,000.
The deputy had worked at the jail’s troubled Conchetta facility but resigned after just six months on the job. It was believed that she was romantically involved with an inmate in the jail.
Gusman didn’t say which items Tureaud was accused of smuggling in, but a Sheriff’s Office employee who asked to remain anonymous said that officials had recently discovered a folding knife with a serrated edge inside the jail, as well as several cellphones.
This isn’t the first time dangerous contraband has been found in the jail. Inmate-on-inmate attacks remain common despite a federal consent decree that mandates a long list of court-ordered reforms.
In a report, experts monitoring progress on the reforms faulted the Sheriff’s Office for not conducting enough shakedowns, as evidenced by the number of contraband items found.
“We continue to get reports that there is a lot of contraband in OPP, including specifically knives, and that there was a rash of recent stabbings,” said Katie Schwartzmann, the MacArthur Justice Center attorney whose class-action lawsuit on behalf of inmates resulted in the consent decree. “We are very concerned for the safety of our clients in the jail.”