TAMPA, Fla. — A Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office detention deputy was arrested after bringing more than a pound of cannabis-laced brownies to the jail where he worked in order to sell them to inmates, according to Sheriff Chad Chronister.
Chronister said 25-year-old Terry Bradford had been selling contraband for an unknown amount of time to inmates at the Falkenburg Road Jail. He is charged with introduction of contraband into a detention facility and possession of a controlled substance.
The discovery of Bradford's crime was credited to a tip given Monday from an unnamed source to the sheriff's office, Chronister said.
"His greed got the best of him," Chronister said during a news conference Thursday.
According to the sheriff, when Bradford reported to work Wednesday for his first shift since the sheriff's office received the tip, investigators found the individually-wrapped cannabis-laced brownies in his possession.
Chronister said through the sheriff's office investigation, they learned Bradford had made thousands of dollars from inmates via CashApp after selling them illegal drug-laced food.
Chronister added the agency's investigation isn't over and there are many questions lingering about Bradford's operation. Unanswered questions include whether Bradford acted alone or if other jail employees were involved in the operation.
It is also unclear how long Bradford had been committing the crime he is accused of. Chronister said Bradford became a detention deputy a little over a year and a half ago and was previously employed as a state corrections officer.
"I can assure you we have a zero-tolerance for any type of contraband — especially illicit drugs — that get introduced into our detention facilities and some people may ask 'why?'," Chronister said. "Think about the dangers that this creates — it turns into gambling, it turns into violence — and that violence? Where's it going to start? It's going to start by one of our deputy sheriffs getting hurt trying to enforce these policies."
Chronister added detention deputies are allowed to bring food into the jail because they work 12-hour shifts. He said while the agency has a good screening process, things could still be missed.
To help reduce the amount of food brought into the jail, Chronister said the sheriff's office will begin providing at least one free, hot meal to its employees during these shifts.
Watch the full news conference below or by clicking here.