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Canada: MTC guard arrested for drug sales? Tell me it isn’t so?
CNCC guard arrested

By Raymond Bowe
Midland Free Press
November 29, 2004

Local News - PENETANGUISHENE — A correctional officer at Central North Correctional Centre was arrested Sunday and charged with drug-trafficking and breach of peace for allegedly selling cocaine and marijuana inside the so-called superjail. This is the second guard this year to face drug-related charges.

Following a year-long investigation, Southern Georgian Bay OPP arrested the guard Sunday at around noon, said Const. Greg Chinn.

Chinn would not comment on how the information leading up to the arrest was received.

Despite media reports to the contrary, police said no drugs were found in the man's possession when he was taken into custody.

A 37-year-old Oro-Medonte Township man has been charged with trafficking a controlled substance and breach of peace. He was released from custody on the condition that he appears in Midland court Jan. 6, 2005.

The breach of peace charge was issued because "the public's confidence was entrusted to him," said Chinn, who noted that charge was laid because the man was given a certain level of authority and responsibility, similar to that of a police officer.

The arrest marks the second time this year that a guard has been charged with a drug-related offence. In March, a 29-year-old correctional officer from Penetanguishene was arrested on his way to work by the OPP and charged with drug trafficking, breach of trust and threatening after a month-long investigation by the provincial crime unit.

CNCC spokesperson Peter Mount would not comment on the recent charges, other than saying jail officials will work closely with the police in their investigation. Mount would not say how long the correctional officer has been employed at CNCC, nor what his employment status is after the charges were filed.

"It's a police investigation... and I can't comment because it is a human resources matter," said Mount.

An Ontario Public Service Employees Union spokesperson declined to comment until all investigations are concluded.

"We will do nothing to interfere with that," said Don Ford, who characterized the charges as "serious."

Ford added the Ministry of Correctional Services and Public Safety also has an investigations branch for such matters, and an internal probe could be launched.

However, ministry spokesperson Tony Brown said it's up to Management and Training Corporation — the Utah-based company that has a five-year contract to run the jail — to deal with the situation.

"This is a police investigation so we obviously have no comment on it," said Brown. "In any event, this matter would be dealt with at a personnel level if it were to be dealt with by CNCC."

MTC's contract to run CNCC, the first privately-operated adult prison in Canada, expires in November 2006.

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