A judge on Thursday set bail for three inmates who were reportedly caught sneaking illegal drugs and cellphones into the Charleston County jail.
A total five people have been arrested in the alleged smuggling ring, including two women who sheriff's deputies said were in relationships with the inmates. Authorities are still searching for a sixth man who is believed to have been involved.
Inmates Antonio McNeil, 21, Kadrin Singleton, 22, and Timothy Patrick, 23, appeared Thursday before Magistrate Linda Lombard on multiple counts each of attempting to furnish an inmate with contraband.
Charleston County sheriff's deputies have accused the group of stuffing illegal items in large saline bottles and resealing the packaging. Visitors had been allowed to bring inmates medical supplies that weren't available in the jail commissary, deputies said.
Authorities first became aware of the scheme in April and the later part of May after a security officer called in a bomb squad to examine a package that appeared suspicious when viewed through an X-ray. An investigation over several weeks helped piece together the links in the smuggling ring, deputies said.
Of the three inmates who were charged, Patrick was the only one represented by a lawyer during Thursday's hearing.
"Nobody would dispute that (Patrick's) in some trouble," attorney Lauren Williams said before asking the judge for a reasonable bail.
Lombard set a total $70,000 bail for McNeil, who faced seven counts of the contraband charge. Singleton received a total $130,000 bail for 13 counts and Patrick received $52,500 bail for seven counts.
Tyra Buie, 28, of Bacons Bridge Road in Summerville and Brittany Wilder, 21, of Wedgwood Circle in Goose Creek, were previously charged with nine and five counts, respectively, of attempting to furnish inmates with contraband as well as multiple drug distribution charges. They were both released from jail on bail.
Investigators are still searching for Brandon Ontrell Williams, 29, who is considered a fugitive, deputies said. He's wanted on suspicion of five narcotics and 13 contraband charges.
Check back with postandcourier.com as more details become available.
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.
Antonio Mcneil,21, is accused in an alleged smuggling ring at the Cannon Detention Center.×
Timothy Patrick is accused in an alleged smuggling ring at the Cannon Detention Center.×
Kadrin R. Singleton is accused in an alleged smuggling ring at the Cannon Detention Center.×
Brandon Ontrell Willams is accused in an alleged smuggling ring at the Cannon Detention Center.×