EAST MADISON — A part-time corrections officer at the Somerset County Jail has been arrested on charges of trafficking in prison contraband.

Alexender Jorden, 21, of Waterville, was arrested Friday afternoon by the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department’s Criminal Investigations Division following a grand jury indictment handed down Thursday, Sheriff Dale Lancaster said.

Lancaster said an investigation was launched at the jail in December in connection with allegations that a correctional officer was supplying inmates with controlled drugs and tobacco products.

The investigation, including the execution of a search warrant at a home in Oakland, showed that Jorden allegedly had supplied Suboxone strips to an inmate at the jail along with tobacco products to other inmates in November and December.

“The officer was reportedly paid by the inmates to bring the contraband in to them at the correctional facility,” Lancaster said. “Officer Jorden was transported to the Somerset County Correctional Facility for booking.”

Trafficking in Suboxone strips is a class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. The tobacco charge is a misdemeanor.

Jorden’s bail was set at $1,000 cash or $10,000 in property bond.

Police still are investigating and more arrests are possible, Lancaster said.

“The Somerset County Correctional Facility will have zero tolerance for this type of illegal behavior,” Lancaster said in a statement, “and I will work closely with the District Attorney’s Office to ensure that individuals who want to participate in this type of activity will be prosecuted.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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