Chesterton Tribune



Westville prison worker charged with trafficking

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A newly hired food service worker at the Westville Correctional Facility was arrested Saturday on a charge of trafficking, the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) said.

According to police, Ranetta Shelton, 30, of Gary, reported for work on Saturday morning and--like everyone entering the prison--was searched. “When she was unable to successfully clear that search, she was questioned by correctional police officers from the Internal Affairs Department of the facility,” DOC said.

She was then arrested on a charge of trafficking--a Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years--and transported to LaPorte County Jail.

DOC did not specify the contraband which Shelton is alleged to have been trafficking.

Shelton was hired in September 2013.

The incident is still under investigation by the facility’s Internal Affairs Department to determine what charges or internal disciplinary action may be taken with any offender(s) allegedly involved.

“Trafficking is treated as a serious problem within the facility,” Superintendent Mark Levenhagen said. “One employee can jeopardize the safety of everyone inside the facility, including their co-workers, and that behavior is simply not tolerated.”

“While the vast majority of the thousands of correctional staff are dedicated to performing their duties conscientiously,” DOC Commissioner Bruce Lemmon said, “everyone has to remain vigilant for those few who test the limits.”


Posted 11/25/2013