Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Prisoner indicted for act in jail

Man, 27, accused of sneaking joint into cell, smoking

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEBANON - A Mason man accused of smoking a marijuana cigarette in his cell was indicted Monday on a felony charge of smuggling the drug into the Warren County Jail.

Chad Criscillis, 27, had just been booked into the jail May 20 on an escape charge from Mason Municipal Court when the incident occurred.

"My understanding is that they (searched) him. But, there are some places people don't check too well," County Prosecutor Tim Oliver said.

According to a sheriff's offense report, corrections officers also found a plastic bag containing a green leafy substance and a lighter in Mr. Criscillis' cell.

Mr. Criscillis faces up to five years in prison if convicted of illegal conveyance of drugs of abuse onto the grounds of a detention facility.

Maj. Tim Lamb said prisoners being brought into the jail are patted down but are not strip-searched unless the arresting officer or corrections officers have probable cause to believe evidence or contraband is hidden. Instead, incoming inmates are observed as they shower and change into jail uniforms, he said.

"There's a lot of argument and debate on what can be done at that point and what cannot be done," Maj. Lamb said. "Our interpretation is that we can shower them out to check for lice and vermin, but we do not - without probable cause - do a strip search."

In other grand jury matters, a 36-year-old Franklin man racked up his ninth DUI Aug. 19, the night before he was sent to jail for a year on his eighth drunken driving conviction.

Christopher Dale Craft refused a breath alcohol test Aug. 19 after he drove into a ditch on Ohio 73 and Clarksville Road at 6:50 p.m., Mr. Oliver said. No one was hurt in the crash. His driving record includes four DUIs in the past six years, Mr. Oliver said.

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