A St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's deputy was fired after officers found contraband inside a vehicle he used to transport inmates.
On July 18, detectives with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's office conducted a search of a vehicle used to transport inmates to a work detail. Tyson Sonnier, the deputy assigned to drive the vehicle, was immediately placed on administrative leave after officers found multiple cell phones and containers of tobacco inside.
Two separate investigations followed the initial discovery. Police say that after dozens of interviews were conducted and physical evidence collected, Sonnier's employment with the Sheriff's office was terminated.
During the investigations police also discovered an unrelated incident in which 26-year-old Porscha Montana of Covington had been placing synthetic marijuana in locations where inmates were scheduled to work.
Police say they interviewed and arrested Montana on Aug. 6. She was booked into the St. Tammany Parish jail on a charge of introducing contraband into a penal institution. Her actions are being treated as a separate case, completely distinct from Sonnier's, according to police.
Both investigations were centered on whether or not any of these contraband items were introduced into the jail itself.
"The residents of St. Tammany demand and deserve deputies who hold themselves to the very highest moral, ethical and legal standards," Chief Deputy Brian Trainor said. "Our agency cannot operate effectively without the public's complete trust in the men and women who serve them."