LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Authorities say a food worker at a Michigan prison has been arrested in connection to smuggling drugs after five inmates at the St. Louis Correctional Facility were found with heroin, cocaine, marijuana and tobacco.
Corrections Department spokesman Russ Marlan confirmed the arrest Monday, saying the Aramark Correctional Services worker was turned over to the Michigan State Police and is expected to face charges.READ MORE: Search Effort To Find Zion Foster, Missing Detroit Women
Marlan told the Detroit Free Press that 39 packets of drugs and tobacco were found in a series of searches.
It’s at least the second case of an Aramark employee being accused of smuggling drugs since the Philadelphia-based company began a $145-million contract with Michigan in December. Three dozen employees have been banned from prisons for other violations.
An Aramark spokeswoman declined to comment.
Last month, the state levied a $200,000 fine against Aramark Correctional Services for unapproved menu substitutions, inadequate staffing and employee misconduct. It was the second fine imposed on the company since it took over food service in state prisons last year. Ohio also has fined Aramark for similar contract violations.
Michigan’s contract with Aramark runs through Sept. 30, 2016. Democrats and a liberal advocacy group had called on Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, to cancel the deal, saying problems were inevitable because of high turnover and lower pay for private workers who replaced roughly 370 state employees who lost their jobs in the outsourcing.READ MORE: Woman Found Dead On Sidewalk In Macomb Township
The governor has defended the decision to stick with the food vendor, saying last month the state was on pace to save $14 million a year through privatization. He also absolved Aramark of responsibility for suspected food poisoning and maggot problems.2 Ice Fishermen Rescued After Trapped By Open Water In Michigan's Thumb Region
TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.