Kevin Gates

Photo from the Instagram of Kevin Gates

Several months after a photo surfaced of a rapper flashing handfuls of $100 bills inside Elayn Hunt Correctional Center while visiting the facility, rapper Kevin Gates has been banned from all state corrections institutions and two corrections officers have been disciplined.

The actions follow a Department of Public Safety and Corrections investigation into a visit that Gates, whose real name is Kevin Gilyard, was purportedly making to his father at Elayn Hunt in July.

Gates posted a series of photos tagging the facility as his location on his Instagram page, one of which showed him sitting with a group of inmates as he fanned out dozens of $100 bills. 

"I went up to the Prison today to visit #LeeLucus #CMurder #Mac #BigMarlo and #Cornbread everybody in these photos have been gone over 20 years," Gates wrote in his Instagram post.

Ken Pastorick, a spokesman for the state corrections department, said when the photograph surfaced that it was against policy for any visitors to bring more than $300 into the prison. 

A DOC report dated July 24, 2019, found that Deputy Warden Perry Stagg and Major Jason Linzy, both of whom oversaw Gates’ visit, deviated from standard institutional policies, resulting in multiple rule violations. The report says Stagg met Gates when he arrived at the facility and Linzy supervised the visit when the pictures were taken.

WBRZ initially reported the disciplinary action for the two officers.

In addition to bypassing body scanners, Gates was allowed to drive his car through the front gates without being searched, investigators found. And while Stagg was escorting him, Gates avoided the visiting office and never had to sign the visitor’s log acknowledging he understood facility rules.

The report also says Gates skipped multiple procedural steps implemented by the DOC. Though he claimed he was visiting his father, the DOC investigation found Gates has no verified family relationship with any inmate at the facility.

Furthermore, Gates, who was arrested for felon in possession of a firearm in 2017, did not submit to a criminal history screening prior to his visit. With Gates’ visitor information never received or recorded, he was allowed to visit the facility despite having felony charges in the last five years.

“These are policies that have been in place. They’re not policies that we just made up today because this happened,” Pastorick said. “These individuals understand the policies and how they operate, and how they need to be enforced. Through the investigation, it was determined the policies were not followed.”

Warden Tim Hooper ended Stagg’s detail as deputy warden of Elayn Hunt Correctional Center following the investigation, Pastorick said. He has been reassigned to his previous post as an assistant warden at Angola — a lower position on the prison operations organizational chart that includes a pay cut.

Major Jason Linzy also received a letter of counseling, Pastorick said, and additional training has been provided to staff regarding visitation policies.

The DOC investigator recommended a criminal complaint against Gates be presented to the Iberville Parish District Attorney’s Office for introduction of contraband into a penal institution, though he said in the report that a prosecution is unlikely because there was no evidence of contraband because the money in the photo was never seized. 

Email Jacqueline DeRobertis at jderobertis@theadvocate.com