Former corrections officer caught in act dropping off contraband

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BATON ROUGE, La. (Press Release) — (4/10/19) Elayn Hunt Correctional Center officers captured an alleged drug trafficker in the act of dropping off a large package of contraband in the prison’s parking lot at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday. Officials say this isn’t the first time she’s attempted to smuggle contraband into a Louisiana prison. In fact, she tried almost two years ago, while she was a corrections officer at Louisiana State Penitentiary.

When Department of Corrections employees approached 25-year-old April R. Matthews, 7246 Tommy James Lane, Jackson, Louisiana, she fled the scene in her vehicle. During her flight from the prison, she hit two parked vehicles, before ramming a Department of Corrections Unit that had attempted to block her exit.

Matthews raced away from the prison at a high rate of speed and proceeded down Highway 74 toward Gonzales, Louisiana, before being stopped by Corrections officials, the St. Gabriel Police Department, and the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The package of contraband contained 103.63 grams of marijuana, 30 strips of Suboxone, 90 pain pills, 12 cell phones, 9 phone chargers, four sim cards, 12 packs of Buglar Cigarettes, a 1-gallon bag of loose tobacco, various clothing, a pair of Air Jordan tennis shoes, cigarette lighters, earbuds, and rechargeable batteries. 

The St. Gabriel Police Department booked Matthews on the following charges:

  • R.S. 40:966A, Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana
  • R.S. 40:969A, Possession of Schedule 3 Buprenorphine Sublingual (30 dosages)
  • R.S. 40:1238.1A, Possession with the Intent to Distribute Legend Drug (90 dosages)
  • R.S. 14:402A, Introduction of Contraband into a Penal Institution (9 counts)
  • R.S. 14:34, Attempted Aggravated Battery
  • R.S. 14:56, Simple Criminal Damage to Property

In May of 2017, Angola Corrections Officers busted Matthews trying to smuggle drugs into Louisiana State Penitentiary. She resigned from the Department of Corrections, and was booked by West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Detectives then.

“I commend our hardworking Elayn Hunt Correctional staff for the great job they do in keeping this prison safe and secure,” said Elayn Hunt Correctional Center Warden Tim Hooper. “Today’s successful operation is a testament to the hard work and comitment of our employees to keep contraband out of our prison.”

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