RAPIDES PARISH, La. (RPSO) - On February 11, deputies assigned to the Corrections Security had been investigating where bundles of contraband were being left for inmate crews throughout the parish.
Investigators located suspected marijuana and smoking tobacco in the Cotile Lake area where inmates are routinely assigned to pick up trash. Upon further investigation, the contraband was found to be synthetic marijuana and a package of smoking tobacco.
Investigators were able to observe a contraband delivery and identified a suspect as Shantae Marie Armstead, 35 of Pineville. As Armstead was driving out of the area, she was stopped and taken into custody without incident. Investigators found suspected synthetic marijuana in the vehicle. Armstead was then transported to the Rapides Parish Detention Center and booked on several charges.
As their investigation continued, probable cause was established and a search warrant was executed at Armstead’s residence at 507 Reagan Street in Pineville. Approximately one pound of synthetic marijuana was located during the search, along with scales and other assorted drug paraphernalia. A ziplock was also located that contained suspected methamphetamine. Sheriff’s Office K-9 assisted in the execution of the search warrant along with a member of the U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force.
Investigators were able to identify the inmate that the contraband was being left for as a Christopher Deon Minor, 36, of Detention Center 3. Corrections Investigators went to DC-3 and arrested Minor on several charges. Both Armstead and Minor remain in jail at the time of this release. Minor has also been revoked off of parish work details.
Corrections Investigators said their investigation into illegal contraband deliveries is still ongoing and more arrests are possible.
“The smuggling of contraband into jail facilities is a problem nationwide and it is up to our dedicated corrections deputies to attempt to intercept these packages,” said Sheriff William Earl Hilton. “I want to commend our Corrections Security team for their hard work as well as our K-9 “Beni” and agents with Probation and Parole for their assistance in this case. Keeping contraband out of jails is a never-ending job.”
Shawntae Armstead was charged with no driver’s license, possession of CDS I with intent to distribute, possession of CDS II with intent to distribute, introduction of contraband into a corrections facility, possession drug paraphernalia and two counts parole violation through the Louisiana Department of Probation and Parole.
Christopher Minor was charged with conspiring to distribute CDS in a correctional facility and conspiring to introduce contraband into a correctional facility.