Officials at the Daviess County Detention Center have never tried to hide the fact that they monitor the calls inmates make. Those calls have resulted in arrests or new charges after inmates were recorded planning drop-offs of drugs at the jail and other sites.
With the jail doing visitation by video conference, the jail staff has to periodically review the calls. That’s mostly to make sure people aren’t doing anything inappropriate on the video chats, and banning those who do, Jailer Art Maglinger said.
Earlier this week, Maglinger recognized deputy jailer Lt. Jim Wyatt, whose monitoring of video chats led to two arrests on multiple drug and weapons charges.
Maglinger said Wyatt was auditing recordings of video visitations when he saw a man, in an unknown location, flashing guns and showing what looked like packages containing drugs to the inmate. The jail staff then contacted the Owensboro Police Department.
“We wanted to keep law enforcement safe and the public safe,” Maglinger said.
Although people have to sign in for visitations, the man didn’t provide his real information, Maglinger said.
The video was turned over to OPD and a detective contacted the office of Probation and Parole, who confirmed the man was Cody L. Mullins, 33, of the 600 block of West 11th Street. Mullins was currently on parole for another offense, the arrest citation says.
The citation says the detective went to Mullins’ residence, where Mullins initially denied having a video visit with an inmate. After being shown photos from the video, Mullins said the guns were fake and were not his, and denied officers permission to search the home.
Mullins said the handguns belonged to another resident of the home, Joy A. Wann, 41. Wann took detectives to the handguns, and detectives saw evidence of a drug trafficking operation, including drugs and paraphernalia, the citation says.
Mullins and Wann were charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (meth), first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance for unspecified drugs, possession of a controlled substance (LSD), possession of synthetic drugs, trafficking in marijuana under 8 ounces and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges were enhanced because of the handguns.
Mullins was also charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.
“Lt. Wyatt’s attention to detail led to the seizure of two functional handguns that could have easily been used to kill (or) harm peace officers or other citizens,” Maglinger wrote in a commendation. “Additionally, his information promoted officer safety for outside law enforcement officers.”
Maglinger said, “I know the detective really did a good job of getting (Mullins) identified.” Most video visitations, Maglinger said, don’t result in criminal charges.
“It’s a positive for the inmates to see their kids,” Maglinger said.
James Mayse, 270-691-7303, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @JamesMayse