Contraband investigation at Albany Co. Jail leads to multiple arrests, officer faces six felonies

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany County Correctional Facility was placed on lockdown for several hours on Saturday after police say several inmates, including an officer, were smuggling in contraband.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says that a three-month long investigation conducted by his office, revealed that contraband was introduced to the facility.

Police say they have arrested 13 people, including six inmates and officer, Merlin Thomas Jr., who had been with the department for 18 years.

Sheriff Apple says Thomas is accused of bringing in packages of contraband consisting of large amounts of tobacco, controlled substances, sharp, plastic objects that can be used as knives, and cellphones.

After listening to phone recordings, police say they were able to confirm Thomas was meeting people outside of the Albany County Jail, and receiving money in exchange for bringing contraband into the facility.

On Saturday, police arrested Thomas after a thorough search found him and his vehicle in possession of tobacco and rolling papers.

All of those arrested are facing multiple charges. Thomas is facing six felony charges.

Sheriff Apple says the incident is “very sad.”

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