Former Lancaster Correctional Officer Charged With Smuggling Drugs To An Inmate

LANCASTER, S.C. — Former correctional officer Kayla Klimczak, 32, inmate Jame Waites, 30,  and Jeffrey Johnson, 46, are charged for attempting to bring illegal drugs into the Lancaster County Detention Center, according to a news release.

Detectives say Officer Klimczak was fired and arrested on Friday, November 6th for possession and intent to distribute suboxone, a schedule III controlled substance, and attempting to give contraband to an inmate. Police say on Saturday, November 7th Klimczak was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

After a more thorough investigation officers say Kilmczak was charged additionally for two counts of distribution of a controlled substance, giving contraband to an inmate, conspiracy to provide contraband to an inmate, and misconduct in office.

Investigators say Waites is charged with conspiracy to possess contraband by an inmate and will not be released from custody, even if he pays the $15,000 bond, until his previous warrant is resolved.

Police arrested Johnson on Friday, November 13th for conspiracy to provide an inmate with contraband, after which officers took him to the Lancaster County Detention Center for his involvement in the crime, according to a news release.

Detectives say Klimczak, Waites, and Johnson made a plan for Johnson to provide the illegal drugs to Klimczak who would bring them to Waites, which happened at least three times.

Investigators say Klimczak and Waites knew each other outside of the facility and were in a romantic relationship when they made the plan to bring illegal drugs into the detention center.

Klimczak worked as a correctional officer from September 3, 2019 until October 23, 2020, when she sent in her resignation, and then was re-hired for her job with the Lancaster County Detention Center with her first scheduled shift on November 6, 2020, according to a news release.

Police say they found four suboxone pills in Klimczak’s car, intended to be given to inmate Waites, when she showed up for her interview on November 6th.

Waites has been held in the detention center since September 24, 2019, after failing to appear for pending sex offenses from 2017, according to a news release.

Investigators say Kilmczak will appear before a judge for her bond on the additional charges.

“We regret these events occurred,” said Sheriff Barry Faile. “We are thankful we got wind of it early on and got it stopped. We take very seriously our obligation to maintain safety, security, and order within the detention center for the protection of the inmates, the staff, and the public. Our employees on the enforcement side and on the corrections side are placed in positions of trust. If I suspect one of my people has broken that trust, a quick but thorough investigation will be done and corrective action will be taken immediately as it was in this case.”

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