Corrections Officers Arrested

By: Andy Alcock
By: Andy Alcock

Two former corrections officers have been arrested for money laundering, bribery and smuggling illegal items into the prison where they worked for inmates.

Tom Pierce had been with the Department of Corrections for 21 years and was a sergeant at Hamilton Correctional Institute in Jasper.

Johnnie Ruth Young had worked for DOC for 14 years and was an officer at Hamilton CI.

According to DOC, Pierce and Young's last day with the department was Thursday.

Both Pierce and Young have been arrested and face multiple charges.

According to arrest records from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Pierce and Young used an elaborate scheme to get money from inmates in exchange for smuggling items or contraband into the prison such as cigarettes, tobacco, narcotics and cell phones.

The reports also say months before Pierce and Young's arrest last week, an alarming amount of deposits into their bank cards caused the company to suspend both their accounts.

Investigators later took a cell phone from an inmate showing text messages between the inmate and Young.

The inmate told investigators he had his girlfriend send the cell phone to Young's post office box with other contraband in exchange for a $500 payment.

Another inmate told investigators he paid Pierce thousands of dollars from other inmates in exchange for contraband including tobacco, synthetic marijuana, cell phones and health supplements.

The inmate told investigators he would text Young using code to let her know items had been mailed and Young would send a code return message stating "self truth."

Pierce and Young have both been released from the Hamilton County Jail on a $10,000 bond each.

Department of Corrections administrators are currently not commenting on the case.

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