AP NEWS

Nurses charged with smuggling meth, phone to prison inmate

May 3, 2019

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — Two traveling nurses and a Montana State Prison inmate have been charged with conspiring to bring methamphetamine, prescription drugs and a cellphone into the facility last summer.

Tiffany Jeanette Houston was charged Wednesday in Powell County Justice Court with two felony counts of transferring illegal articles and misdemeanor counts of obstructing a peace officer, official misconduct and drug possession, The Montana Standard reports .

Inmate Anthony Roy St. Dennis is facing two felony charges of conspiracy to commit transferring illegal articles while Jacqueline Alaina Newcomb faces one conspiracy to transfer charge.

Houston and Newcomb are contracted nurses who were hired to work at the state prison last spring.

They were fired after the misconduct allegations were made, said Amy Barton, interim communications director for the Department of Corrections.

The investigation began in July after prison officials discovered letters sent between inmates that indicated there was a cellphone and charger in the facility. Authorities say the items were found in St. Dennis’s cell.

Officers also discovered letters and monitored phone calls between St. Dennis and Houston.

St. Dennis acknowledged manipulating Houston and paying her to bring contraband into the prison, court records said. He was written up for misconduct and his phone and dayroom use hours were restricted, Barton said.

His court date has not been set.

Newcomb was arrested in Mississippi, and Houston is scheduled to appear in court Monday, county officials said. It wasn’t immediately clear if they have attorneys.

St. Dennis is serving 100 years for stomping a homeless man to death.

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Information from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com