Somerset County corrections officer charged on drug counts

HARRISBURG – Agents from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Public Corruption Unit  have filed criminal charges against a Somerset County corrections officer accused of smuggling heroin and other contraband into the Somerset County Jail.

State Attorney General Tom Corbett identified the defendant as Jeremy Lensbouer, 30, of Sipesville, Somerset County.

Corbett said the criminal charges filed against Lensbouer are the result of an investigation that began in May 2005 into allegations that drugs and other contraband were being smuggled to inmates in the Somerset County Jail.  The case was referred to the Attorney General’s Public Corruption Unit by Somerset County District Attorney Jerry Spangler.

According to the criminal charges, on May 30, 2005, officers conducted surveillance on the parking lot of the Somerset County Jail and observed an unidentified woman placing items into a vehicle belonging to Lensbouer, who was on-duty at the jail.  A short time later, Lensbouer was observed leaving the jail, retrieving items from his vehicle, placing them into his socks and returning to the jail. 

Corbett said that when Lensbouer re-entered the jail he was confronted by officials about the items he had allegedly retrieved from his car.  At that time, Lensbouer allegedly surrendered six small packets of suspected heroin along with tobacco rolling papers and cash. Testing of the packets by the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab confirmed the presence of heroin.

Lensbouer is charged with one count each of providing controlled substance contraband to confined persons, a second-degree felony with a mandatory minimum of at least two years in prison.  The contraband charge has a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Lensbouer is also charged with criminal conspiracy, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine; possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine; and possession of a controlled substance, a third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

Lensbouer was preliminarily arraigned Wednesday before Somerset Magisterial District Judge Arthur Cook and released on his own recognizance.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 27.

Corbett said Lensbouer will be prosecuted in Somerset County by Deputy Attorney General William F. Caye II.

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