LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — Deputies in Lake County have charged 14 people in connection with bringing illegal items into the Lake County Jail.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said the charges stem from a year-long investigation into various crimes related to introducing illegal items into a detention facility.
The sheriff’s office launched the investigation, “Operation Hide and Seek,” in December 2019 after reports of inmates at the jail working with people on the outside to bring in narcotics and tobacco items to be sold to other inmates.
Detectives were able to intercept several items of contraband destined for the detention center.
Deputies said the items would typically be contained in pieces of trash that were intentionally discarded by the inmates’ friends or relatives in areas where the inmate work crews would be cleaning.
One of the 14 being charged is Jimmy Ankrom, a corrections officer who worked in the detention center from July 2019 to October 2020, who helped facilitate the movement of items into the facility, deputies said.
According to a report, Ankrom’s employment was terminated as a result of his arrest.
Detectives said they were able to purchase drugs from drug dealers outside the jail who were involved in this operation and charged them as well.
During the operation, detectives seized tobacco, marijuana, methamphetamine, and suboxone that were all bound for the detention facility, according to a report.
“Operation Hide and Seek” was a collaborative effort between the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Eustis, Clermont, and Leesburg Police Departments and federal law enforcement.
Deputies said 10 of the 14 people charged are in custody and four are still wanted.
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