A Morgan County grand jury returned 8 indictments yesterday against inmate Robert Fusco and several co-defendants. The indictments stem from lengthy investigation into an attempt by Fusco to introduce contraband into the Morgan County Correctional Complex.
During the course of the investigation, the Tennessee Department of Correction, in conjunction with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, collected evidence that Fusco – who was a minimum security inmate – breached the secure perimeter of the facility. This is a highly unusual case because the inmate was not trying to flee custody but was in fact attempting to introduce contraband into the facility.
Yesterday’s grand jury returned indictments against Fusco for escape, conspiracy to escape and unlawful possession of a telecommunication device in a penal facility
Throughout this breach of institutional security, officers say Fusco was aided by seven people. Additional indictments include:
William Richmond, age 68 – conspiracy to escape, facilitation of escape and permit/facilitate escape
Megan Cheryl Jones, age 29 – conspiracy to escape; facilitation of escape, tampering with evidence, sexual contact with an inmate, and facilitation of contraband in a penal facility
Jarrett Tolley aka Alyssa Tolley, age 30 – conspiracy to escape, facilitation of escape; permit/facilitate to escape, and escape implements
Cecil Kendall, age 35 – conspiracy to escape, facilitation of escape, and permit/facilitate to escape
Elizabeth Ashley England, age 30 – conspiracy to escape, facilitation of escape, permit/facilitate to escape
Ethan Self, age 26 – conspiracy to escape, facilitation of escape, and permit/facilitate to escape
Josh Sexton, age 34 – conspiracy to escape, facilitation of escape, permit/facilitate to escape, and official misconduct
When this breach was initially uncovered Commissioner Tony Parker stated, “While I appreciate the staff for their diligence in uncovering this situation, it is obvious that security protocols were violated. This investigation and subsequent indictments should serve as a reminder that the department will not tolerate any threat to the safety and security of our facilities. We have been, and will continue to be, relentless in the prosecution of those that violate their oath and violate the law. Any person threatening this department’s mission will be held accountable be it staff, inmate or community member.”
Immediately following the incident inmate Fusco was classified as a maximum custody inmate and reassigned to West Tennessee State Penitentiary.
Again, the department must point out that this breach highlights the threat that contraband and those looking to introduce contraband pose to correctional facilities. This threat is not limited to TDOC facilities, but negatively affects prisons throughout the country. TDOC is actively working with law enforcement partners at all levels to not only detect contraband but prevent contraband from entering prisons.
In addition to this multi-agency partnership, Commissioner Tony Parker continues to meet with officials from the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C. to discuss ways to continue to combat contraband.