CCSO Corrections officer among multiple arrests for getting drugs into jail
Published 11:47 am Friday, August 5, 2022
By JOYANNA LOVE |Managing Editor
A Chilton County Sheriff’s Office corrections officer and several others have been arrested for coordinating drugs being brought into the jail.
Corrections officer Tyler Ryan Couch, a white male of Shelby County, has been charged with four counts of promotion of prison contraband, which is a Class C felony, and arrested on July 21. Couch was taken to an out-of-county correctional facility, where he later made bond. He had been working at the Chilton County jail for six months.
Asst. Chief Shane Mayfield said the department was unaware of any previous law enforcement experience, “and we are going to try to make sure he doesn’t have any future law enforcement experience either.”
Couch had recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Couch’s arrest led to further investigation.
Through interviews with individuals in and outside of the jail, “we have put together a case on about nine different individuals,” Mayfield said.
Seven people have been arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit a controlled substance crime, which is a Class B felony, in connection to the incident, including Nikki Michelle Cleckler (white female), Jatorria Shinae Myrick (black female), Carmen Taylee Sullivan (black female), Javonte Cornuis Stubbs (black male), Manuel Ernest Lattimore (black male), Travious Devon Parker (black male) and Keandre Carvese Binion (black male).
Many have previous charges.
Two more suspects are outstanding, and the investigation is ongoing.
This case will likely be heard at the January grand jury.
“Around the first week of July was when we first developed some information that something was going on,” Mayfield said.
A variety of sources are used to gather information at the jail for discovering this type of information. Mayfield said the intel came from one of these sources, not a person.
“We worked on it for a couple of weeks until we … knew that it was a corrections officer that was introducing it into the building and … that we had the right corrections officer,” Mayfield said.
Inmates were contacting significant others on the outside and coordinating payment and purchase of drugs that Couch would bring inside, according to Mayfield.
Small amounts of prescription drugs, methamphetamine and marijuana were brought in.
Jail policy states correctional officers are prohibited from bringing any item from outside to the inmate or delivering messages for them.
“We anticipate probably additional charges at grand jury on all of the participants,” Mayfield said.
No other corrections officers were determined to be involved, and Mayfield said the other officers on the shift “were angry or felt betrayed because of what he (Couch) had done.”
Initial warrants were filed in order to stop the situation, “and to make the point, anyone, whether you work for us or you are on the outside or the inside, regardless of your status, you will be arrested and put in jail if we catch you” bringing drugs into the jail, Mayfield said.
“We in law enforcement, and corrections officer is no different, we strive in our work for the people to believe in us, hold our heads up, do the right thing, and all it takes is one person to tear all that down … it takes us forever to get the public’s trust back, and we are not going to put up with that,” Chilton County Sheriff John Shearon said.
He said Couch’s actions were “like a slap in the face, and we are not going to put up with that.”
Clanton Police Department also assisted on the investigation. This is an ongoing investigation, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office. Tips can be given through the CCSO app, calling 205-755-7898 or emailing case agent Jessica Mims at Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org.