Nine arrested, accused of smuggling $90,000 worth of contraband into prison

EAST FELICIANA — Multiple agencies spent several months investigating claims that tens of thousands of dollars worth of contraband were being smuggled into the Dixon Correctional Institute.

Dixon Correctional Institute, or DCI, is located in Jackson, La. in East Feliciana Parish. It’s why the East Feliciana Sheriff’s Office, State Police, Dept. of Corrections, or DOC, and DCI investigators worked together on the investigation that started in Nov. 2023.

dixon correctional institute
Dixon Correctional Institute

DOC investigators and DCI security seized several large bundles of contraband late last year. The bundles included large quantities of illegal narcotics, cell phones, and other forms of contraband.

LSP says the joint investigation resulted in them identifying a “large scale contraband smuggling operation involving DCI inmates, trustees, a DCI employee, and several other civilian individuals from the Baton Rouge area.”

Officials say the nine people were allegedly working collectively to “smuggle pounds of marijuana, pounds of methamphetamine, large quantities of synthetic cannabinoids, heroin, cocaine, hundreds of Suboxone strips, hundreds of dosage units of prescription medication, along with numerous cell phones, chargers, mobile WiFi devices, and knives” into DCI.

Investigators estimate the value of theitems smuggled into DCI by this group to be worth over $90,000.

State Police did not release specifics of what the group was doing with the contraband once it was allegedly smuggled into the prison. LSP also did not provide details on each person’s role with the alleged smuggling.

As a result of the investigation so far, nine individuals have been arrested:

  • Dwayne Blair (DCI inmate) – booked at the E. Feliciana Parish Prison for Introduction of Contraband, PWITD a Sch. I Controlled Substance, PWITD a Sch. II Controlled Substance, and PWITD a Sch. III Controlled Substance
  • Bruce Padilla (DCI inmate) – booked at the E. Feliciana Parish Prison for Criminal Conspiracy to commit Introduction of Contraband, Dist. of a Sch. I Controlled Substance, and Dist. of a Sch. II Controlled Substance
  • Dustin Watson (DCI employee) – booked at the E. Feliciana Parish Prison for Malfeasance in Office, Introduction of Contraband, PWITD a Sch. I Controlled Substance, PWITD a Sch. II Controlled Substance, PWITD a Sch. III Controlled Substance, and PWITD a Sch. IV Controlled Substance
  • Christopher Henderson (DCI inmate) – booked at the E. Feliciana Parish Prison for Racketeering, Criminal Conspiracy to commit Introduction of Contraband, Dist. of a Sch. I Controlled Substance, and Dist. of a Sch. II Controlled Substance
  • Aranton Johnson (DCI inmate) – booked at the E. Feliciana Parish Prison for Criminal Conspiracy to commit Introduction of Contraband, Dist. of a Sch. I Controlled Substance, and Dist. of a Sch. II Controlled Substance
  • Ernest Miles (DCI inmate) – booked at the E. Feliciana Parish Prison for Criminal Conspiracy to commit Introduction of Contraband, Dist. of a Sch. I Controlled Substance, and Dist. of a Sch. II Controlled Substance
  • Lernise Jackson (civilian) – booked at the E. Baton Rouge Parish Prison for Dist. of a Sch. I Controlled Substance, Dist. of a Sch. II Controlled Substance, Dist. of a Sch. III Controlled Substance, and Criminal Conspiracy to commit Introduction of Contraband
  • Jarryl Bowie (civilian) – booked at the E. Feliciana Parish Prison for Criminal Conspiracy to commit Introduction of Contraband, Dist. of a Sch. I Controlled Substance, and Dist. of a Sch. II Controlled Substance
  • Lauren Robinson (civilian) – booked at the E. Feliciana Parish Prison for Criminal Conspiracy to commit Introduction of Contraband

This case remains under investigation as investigators work to identify other potentially involved suspects.

Additional charges on these individuals, as well as additional arrests, are possible. Anyone with potential information related to this case is urged to share that information with LSP Detectives.

Information can anonymously be reported through the Louisiana State Police online reporting system by visiting File a Report or calling the LSP Fusion Center Hotline at 1-800-434-8007.

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