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Jill Atwood reporting A former corrections officer at the Utah State Prison pleaded guilty today to dealing drugs inside to inmates. Corrections officials say they had suspected him for sometime, set up a sting operation, and caught him.
Oddesser Thompson plead guilty today to planning to sell marijuana and tobacco in the prison. The Department of Corrections says a source inside the prison told them about Oddesser, and what he was doing. An undercover investigation came to a head in late January. Then they caught him red handed.
Coincidentally, this plea comes at a time when the state prison boasts a lower than the national average percentage when it comes to drugs in prison. Still 80 percent of Utah State inmates have a drug problem or have had a problem at one time, and despite corrections best efforts drugs do make it inside in a variety of creative ways. That's why the recent guard's betrayal is really hard for corrections to swallow.
Scott Carver/Department Of Corrections: "THIS IS SUCH A RARE EVENT THAT WE HAVE AN OFFICER INVOLVED IN THIS TYPE OF ACTIVITY..IT IS VERY DETRIMENTAL TO OUT MORALE AROUND HERE IT OF COURSE IT SHEDS A BAD LIGHT ON MANY OFFICERS WHO ARE DOING AN OUTSTANDING JOB."
Thursday, corrections officials showed us some of their tactics for tracking, and investigating drugs in the prison. They say only about 1 percent of inmates test positive for drugs, so they believe their efforts are paying off.
As for Oddesser Thompson. he faces up to five years in prison, he'll be sentenced in mid July. The Department feels this is an isolated incident and doesn't plan to do anything differently as far as their officers go.