By Ray King
Four Hot Springs National Park residents who were detained by Department of Corrections personnel near Tucker Prison Monday are facing felony allegations relating to an attempt to bring contraband into the prison.
Kayla Smith, 29, Lokki Chezem, 18, Seantie Wheeler, 18, and Devanja Johnson, 26, were taken into custody after corrections officers saw a black truck going down a farm road near the prison. State Police Special Agent Randy Rauls reported that two of the males were seen walking through the woods and a backpack was seized from them.
One of the males told investigators that they had picked up the backpack in Little Rock and Smith received a partial payment to deliver it, while one of the males received gas money. The males were told to drop off the backpack near Barracks 10.
Deputy Prosecutor Beth Carson said the backpack contained packages of suspected marijuana, a package of green vegetable matter believed to be synthetic marijuana, 25 hydrocodone pills, eight cell phones and chargers.
When investigators searched Smith’s purse, they found five grams of a substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine and a digital scale.
Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth on Tuesday set a bond of $25,000 each for Smith, Chezem, Wheeler and Johnson after ruling prosecutors have probable cause to charge them with furnishing prohibited articles. Smith will also be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
A parole hold was placed on Johnson pending a hearing to determine if he should be sent back to prison to complete his sentence.