A former corrections officer at the Coffee County Jail found himself behind bars after being arrested by investigators.
James M. Mayes, 26, of Brandontown Road, Manchester, is charged with bribery of a public servant, extortion and official misconduct.
According to warrants obtained by Sheriff’s Investigator Sgt. Danny Ferrell, Mayes took $100 from an inmate to allow him to keep a quarter pound of tobacco the inmate had in his possession in the tobacco-free jail. According to the warrants, he had told the inmate to pay up after catching him with the tobacco.
Ferrell alleges that Mayes then threatened to “lock the inmate down” and restrict his privileges if the money was not paid.
Ferrell alleges that the inmate was told that for another $150 he could bring anything he wanted into the jail.
After the $100 was allegedly paid, Ferrell took possession of the money. “I had recorded the serial numbers and the serial number on the money seized was the same,” Ferrell said.
According to the investigator, the sheriff’s department had been investigating Mayes for the last six months after allegations arose.
“He had been allowing cell phones and other contraband to be taken into the jail for a fee,” the investigator alleged. Ferrell stated that several inmates in the jail had been a victim of the corrections officer for allegedly taking money for favors.
Mayes is being housed in the Franklin County Jail under $150,000 bond and is to appear in Coffee County General Sessions Court Nov. 17.
(Story from Wayne Thomas of the Tullahoma News)