Westville prison guard charged with trafficking

2013-03-26T18:30:00Z 2013-03-26T20:14:08Z Westville prison guard charged with traffickingTimes Staff nwitimes.com
March 26, 2013 6:30 pm  • 

WESTVILLE | A 13-year corrections officer was arrested Saturday at Westville Correctional Facility on a trafficking charge.

Shalawn Johnson, 40, of Merrillville, reported for work at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and was stopped and questioned by internal affairs and correctional officers, according to the Indiana Department of Correction.

During questioning and a search, officers found a cellphone Johnson allegedly planned to deliver to an offender.

Johnson was arrested and charged with trafficking with an offender, a Class C felony, and transported to LaPorte County Jail.

Representatives from the Indiana Department of Correction said the incident remains under investigation by Westville's internal affairs department.

"While the majority of our staff is dedicated to doing things the right way, we still have to be vigilant with every individual," Superintendent Mark Levenhagen said in a statement issued Tuesday. "Even those with years of experience can be swayed into doing the wrong things."

Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner Bruce Lemmon agreed.

"We do all we can to prevent staff from making bad decisions, but when they do fail, we will hold them accountable to the public," Lemmon said.

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