TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Hillsborough County detention deputy is accused of giving inmates THC vape pens and edibles.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office’s Jail Intelligence Squad said it launched an investigation in September 2022 after two THC vape pens were located on an inmate.
Deputies said the inmate was charged with possession of cannabis and introduction of contraband after he was seen on video surveillance in possession of the vape pens.
Detectives later discovered that an employee was involved in the case.
Deputies said Marlon Blankenship, 32, met with an outside source and provided the inmate with contraband, including THC vape pens and THC edibles.
When detectives interviewed Blankenship, he denied any involvement and resigned from his position, the sheriff’s office said.
“This man was trusted to care for inmates and inspire a better future; instead, he abused his position and became a criminal himself,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “I want to be clear, Blankenship does not represent or reflect on the thousands of dedicated and honorable members of team HCSO who work hard day in and day out to protect and serve every member of our community.”
The sheriff’s office said charges were filed with the State Attorney’s Office against Blankenship for introducing contraband to the detention facility and unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior public servant.
The sheriff’s office said Blankenship was arrested at his home in Brooksville by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Blankenship joined the sheriff’s office in March 2019. He was assigned to the Department of Detention Services. He resigned in January while under investigation.