SUSSEX COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — An employee with the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) was arrested earlier this week after they allegedly attempted to smuggle contraband into a prison in Sussex County.

According to VADOC, intelligence staff received information that indicated an employee would be attempting to bring contraband into Sussex I State Prison on Tuesday, Oct. 17. The employee arrived at the facility around 6:45 p.m. that day and was escorted to a separate room for questioning.

“During questioning, the employee confessed to meeting an inmate’s aunt in Roanoke to pick up cell phones, which are considered contraband in VADOC facilities,” a spokesperson with the department said. “The employee consented to a search of their vehicle and staff found contraband concealed in an article of clothing.”

VADOC reports the following contraband items were found:

  • Nine cell phones
  • Five packages of tobacco of unspecified size
  • A package of cell phone charging adapters
  • Two cell phone SIM cards
  • A pair of earbuds
  • An unspecified number of tobacco wrapping papers
  • Four additional charging cords

The Sussex County Sheriff’s Office was notified by VADOC staff and later arrested the employee.

“There is a zero tolerance policy towards drugs and contraband at our facilities,” said VADOC Director Chadwick Dotson. “This applies to both inmates and employees. Employees who are found to have contraband and are attempting to smuggle these items into our facility will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The incident remains under investigation. VADOC says no further information will be released until the investigation is complete.