Corrections Officer Charged with Smuggling Drugs
Nova Scotia's justice system has another black eye tonight. The justice department is conducting an internal investigation after a corrections officer was picked up - accused of trying to smuggle drugs into a Halifax jail. 49-year old Malcolm Beaton has been released under strict conditions after spending the night in police custody.
“He is going to be on house arrest conditions so I think that’s the most stringent and will be in the company of someone at all times,” says Federal Crown Prosecutor Angela Nimmo.
The Corrections Officer was arrested at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional facility around 6:30 pm last night on his way to work. Police say they found tobacco, marijuana, hydromorphone, drug paraphernalia and cash on the man.
“The investigation is ongoing but investigators do believe that Beaton was planning to bring the drugs into the correctional facility,” says Lauren Leal of Halifax Police.
Police won't say who tipped them off. An internal investigation is now underway by Nova Scotia's justice department.
“Whenever you have this type of a circumstance you want to have a complete analysis done on what’s occured here,” says Justice Minister Ross Landry.
This isn't the first time someone's been accused of trying to smuggle drugs into the jail. Halifax lawyer Anne Calder was convicted on drug charges after passing an envelope of drugs to a client at the correctional centre in 2009. That same year, Tyrone David, a sheriff's deputy was arrested on his way into work - accused of accepting an envelope of drugs with the intent to smuggle them into the jail. He has since pleaded guilty to a number of drug related charges.
Liberal Justice Critic Michel Samson says the system appears to be broken.
“So the confidence is being shaken once again today when you hear allegations of an actual jail guard bringing in illegal drugs,” notes Samson.
Landry says the fact Beaton was caught speaks volumes to the capability of the Justice Department.
“I want to ensure Nova Scotians that we have a very highly professional staff and team and they're always on the look out for people who might breach those conditions and that's what occured here.”
Beaton is due back in court at the end of November.
With files from CTV's Jacqueline Foster.