Rapper Kevin Gates banned from visiting La. correctional facilities; staffers disciplined after investigation

Louisiana rapper Kevin Gates | Photo Source: Amy Harris / Invision / AP
Louisiana rapper Kevin Gates | Photo Source: Amy Harris / Invision / AP(KALB)
Published: Sep. 30, 2019 at 7:44 PM CDT
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Louisiana rapper, Kevin Gates, has been banned from visiting facilities operated by the Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC), and several staffers of Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, including a deputy warden, have faced disciplinary action following the conclusion of an investigation into a series of pictures showing the rapper flashing several hundreds of dollars in cash inside the facility.

DOC spokesman, Ken Pastorick, says Gates was on the visitation list for someone at the facility when the photos were taken in July, which means he signed documentation acknowledging the prison’s policies.

“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 said in the caption for one photo first posted to an Instagram account.

“As indicated in the photograph, it appears Mr. Gates had a large sum of cash, which is unacceptable, and a violation,” Pastorick told The Advocate newspaper after news of the investigation broke. “It is against Elayn Hunt Correctional Center policy to bring case exceeding $300 into the prison, and any amount above that is considered contraband.”

An update on the investigation released Monday, Sept. 30 shows multiple staffers were disciplined in connection with the incident.

“Following the investigation, Warden Tim Hooper ended Perry Stagg’s detail as Deputy Warden of Elayn Hunt Correctional Center. He has been reassigned to his previous position as an Assistant Warden at Angola, which equates to a lower position on the prison operations organizational chart, and a cut in pay. Major Jason Linzy received a letter of counseling. Additional training has been provided to staff regarding visitation policies,” said Pastorick in a statement released Monday, Sept. 30.

A report of the incident shows investigators found both Stagg and Linzy were found to have “deviated from standard institutional security policies and regulations.”

According to the report, the first issue was Gates initiated the visit instead of the offender he was there to visit. Gates was also allowed to visit an offender with the last name Gates by claiming the two were relatives, though a simple background search would have revealed that claim to be false, according to the report. Furthermore, Stagg allowed Gates to bypass the “front gate body scanner and other means of contraband detection in disregard of policy per his instruction,” the report states.

Investigators also learned Gates wouldn’t have been able to show Stagg any identification since he does not possess any with that name. In the report, investigators say Staggs’ action gave the “appearance that [Gates] received special privilege as a celebrity.”

Lizzy, who reportedly saw Gates with the money, told investigators he was “uncertain at the time it was approved or not” when asked why he didn’t report what he saw.

Investigators recommended Gates be banned from all facilities and removed from all visitation lists. Investigators also made a recommendation that a criminal complaint against Gates be presented to the District Attorney’s Office, however, investigators thought without evidence of the contraband, prosecution would be unlikely.

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