POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Two Polk County detention employees and a current inmate are facing charges for conspiring with each other to bring contraband into the jail.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, during a March 4 jail dormitory inspection at the South County Jail in Frostproof, detention deputies found contraband in the inmate trusty dormitory. Eight inmates were found in possession of the contraband.
Deputies say detectives learned the contraband, which included tobacco, cigarettes and possibly a cell phone, was being illegally brought into the jail and dispersed by an inmate.
The inmate, 36-year-old Herbert Williams of Auburndale, was arrested by PCSO in 2019 for possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and six violations of probation charges related to grand theft and fraud.
The sheriff’s office said detectives found at least seven different incidents, between Feb. 4 and March 18, where 25-year-old Austin Guy of Winter Haven coordinated with Williams to purchase cans of smokeless tobacco and would bring it into the secured jail facility.
Guy then hid the contraband in a predetermined location for Williams to find and distribute to other inmates.
During these incidents, Williams would contact people outside the jail to put money on Guy’s CashApp so that Guy would buy the tobacco.
Detectives have video of Guy buying the tobacco products at local convenience stores. Guy told detectives he does not personally use tobacco products.
A release from the sheriff’s office said during their investigation, detectives interviewed 23-year-old Katheryn Krzyzanski of Sebring who admitted she was also conspiring with Williams, and on at least two separate occasions received payment through CashApp to buy contraband products, including smokeless tobacco, for Williams to distribute inside the jail.
Guy and Krzyzanski were arrested Tuesday morning.
Guy was hired by PCSO in November 2019 as a detention support specialist. Krzyzanski was also hired by the sheriff’s office in November 2019 as a food service specialist. They both resigned immediately upon their arrests. Had they not resigned, the sheriff’s office said they would have been terminated.
Guy is now facing seven counts of conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation for official behavior, seven counts of unlawful compensation for official behavior, and seven counts of a public servant accepting a bribe.
Krzyzanski is facing two counts of conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation for official behavior, two counts of unlawful compensation for official behavior, and two counts of a public servant accepting a bribe.
Williams has been charged with nine counts of conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation for official behavior, nine counts of benefiting from unlawful compensation for official behavior, and nine counts bribing a public servant.
“This is a great example of how our system of checks and balances works at the Polk County Jail. When inappropriate actions were discovered, supervision and detectives immediately took action to arrest those responsible,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.
The investigation is ongoing.