County Jail Deputy Faces Drug, Smuggling Case

 FLINT (WWJ/AP) – A Genesee County jail deputy has been charged with obtaining drugs illegally and smuggling contraband into the facility.

The Flint Journal reports 35-year-old Amy R. Gatica, of Grand Blanc, was arraigned Saturday by 67th District Court judge Mark Latchana.

Gatica’s lawyer Frank J. Manley said Gatica had been an outstanding corrections officer for 13 years and that the case appears to be more about a medical problem than a criminal issue. He said his client may have been using medicine for back problems.

Sheriff Robert Pickell said he ordered an investigation after allegations against Gatica surfaced. “It’s a breach of public trust on the part of the corrections deputy,” Pickell said in an MLive interview. “We’re taking it very seriously.”

“I have 244 employees. The overwhelming number of them are outstanding, superior,” Pickell added. “This is one person out of 244.”

Gatica was arrested Thursday and released Saturday on a $41,000 bond.

Pickell said there will be a “vigorous” investigation.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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