Eight Brown County Jail inmates have been charged in connection with the April 24 discovery of marijuana in a jail cell, Sheriff Bobby Grubbs said.
The eight are charged with having a prohibited substance in a correctional facility, a third degree felony, Grubbs and investigator Carlyle Gover said.
Some of the marijuana had been smoked, Grubbs said.
Sheriff’s officials believe inmate Marvin Perot, 37, had about 6 grams of marijuana, a lighter and rolling papers hidden in a body cavity when he turned himself in at the jail on April 22 on a parole warrant, Grubbs said.
Perot is alleged in a complaint to have provided marijuana to the other seven inmates in the cell.
“We do a full search when they come in, and evidently this one got by us,” Grubbs said. “These people continue to be innovative in the way they try to bring things in.”
In addition to Perot, the inmates charged are:
• George Urrutia, 36, arrested April 9 on charges of failure to identify, public intoxication and failure to appear in court.
• Michael Pope, 19, arrested March 8 on charges of assault, burglary of a habitation and theft.
• Diego Ramon, 17, arrested Sept. 27 on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity, burglary of a habitation and unlawfully carrying a weapon.
• Michael Pittman, 23, arrested Jan. 23 on charges of injury to the elderly, public intoxication, assault and on a motion to revoke probation.
• David Bergman, 52, arrested Feb. 12 on charges of DWI third or more, dogfighting and failure to appear in court.
• Andrew Vasquez, 31, arrested Nov. 10 on charges of tampering with evidence, hindering apprehension and aggravated assault. He was later charged with murder.
• James Johnson Jr., 27, arrested Jan. 16 on charges of aggravated assault and forgery.
All but Johnson are still in the Brown County Jail, while Johnson was transferred Monday to a state prison unit, Gover said.
Grubbs said the charges are based on evidence and on inmates’ statements.
Gover said investigators interviewed all of the inmates who were in the cell when the marijuana was found. “Several inmates admitted using marijuana,” Gover said. “I don’t think the inmates took it seriously, but they take it seriously now.”
A jailer found a marijuana cigarette during a shakedown of the cell after jailers smelled marijuana, Grubbs said earlier. Early’s drug dog, Bla’zen, alerted on a small amount in another area of the cell, Grubbs said.
Gover said inmates had tried various ways to mask the marijuana’s smell including spreading baby powder around and sealing the doors with wet towels.
“I expect there’s not a jail around that something hasn’t been smuggled in to,” Grubbs said.
In other incidents:
• Deputy Pete Bastardo arrested Thomas Shifflett, 22, of Brownwood on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia after checking on a par parked on the shoulder of Highway 279. The driver was passed out when Bastardo approached him.
• Brownwood officer Brandon Arnold arrested Donathan Ellsworth, 18, of Brownwood on warrants for evading arrest and burglary of a vehicle. He also faces a new charge of resisting arrest.