Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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June 27, 2012

Fort Wayne woman arrested at local correctional facility

PLAINFIELD — Officers made another trafficking arrest at the Plainfield Correctional Facility this week. Kimberly Keller, 38, was charged with trafficking and possession of marijuana.

Keller, a Fort Wayne resident, was visiting offender Bobby Freeman on Tuesday afternoon when Department of Corrections staff observed her pass something to him, according to reports.

The visit was immediately terminated and IDOC officials say Freeman was found in possession of a “green, leafy” substance that tested positive for marijuana.

Phil Slavens, assistant superintendent of re-entry at the PCF, said the arrest was a result of staff diligence.

“It happened right in the visiting room,” he said. “You never really know what’s going to happen so you immediately separate the offender.”

Slavens said trafficking happens in virtually every prison.

“People see easy money to be made,” he said.

PCF officer Travis Paul Wilbur was arrested on felony trafficking charges in early June.

“It can be guards or offender visitors,” Slavens said. “I worked at the facility in Putnam County. There the facility butts up against U.S. 40. People were throwing tennis balls in there.”

He said traffickers come up with some very creative ways to smuggle cigarettes or drugs into a facility.

“Not here, but in other facilities we’ve had people FedEx items into the warehouse,” Slavens said. “Then there would be an offender inside looking for the box to arrive.”

He said the worse thing about trafficking is that it can eventually escalate to worse crimes.

“It makes it dangerous for our staff,” Slavens said. “An offender says you brought me cigarettes, now I will tell what you did unless you bring me a gun. At first, the money sounds good and it’s all so simple. It never ends up good.”

Keller was questioned and then arrested by PCF officers Frank Vanihel and Richard Gaskin. She was transported to the Hendricks County Jail in Danville and preliminarily charged with trafficking more than 30 grams, a class C felony, and possession of marijuana, a class A misdemeanor.

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