Two more charged in case of jail cook who allegedly gave alcohol, scissors to inmates

Aaron Krause • Feb 10, 2013 at 7:46 PM

A Sandusky woman accused of furnishing alcohol, tobacco and scissors to Erie County Jail inmates has been released on a $5,000 bond.

Meanwhile, two additional people have been charged with crimes in connection with the case.

One of the additional suspects, ironically, is an employee of Oriana House, a Sandusky community corrections facility. Its mission includes providing substance abuse treatment.

The original suspect, Mildred Hensley, 59, of Sandusky, was arraigned on two charges of conveyance of illegal items or deadly weapons onto the grounds of a detention facility or institution.

Hensley was an employee of Aramark, which has a contract with the sheriff's office to provide food service at the jail. She was also a former Erie County Sheriff's Office employee.

One of her charges, a second-degree misdemeanor, is in connection with bringing alcohol into the facility. The other charge, a fourth-degree felony, came after Hensley allegedly admitted to authorities she brought scissors into the jail so an inmate could cut his hair.

When she was charged, Hensley was taken to jail on no bond. However, during Thursday's court hearing, Sandusky Municipal Court Judge Erich O'Brien allowed her to be released on a $5,000 bond.

Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said Hensley had help in furnishing alcohol and tobacco to inmates. She said she didn't get paid for smuggling in the contraband, which included banned food items, smokeless tobacco, electric hair clippers and the pair of scissors. The illegal acts started about four months ago when she gave an inmate a can of tobacco, Hensley admitted to deputies.

Authorities learned of the covert acts when an anonymous caller told them Hensely provided inmates with a 2-liter bottle of Sprite and gin on Super Bowl Sunday. An investigation led to the discovery of other smuggled items.

Amy l. Cheatham, 35, of Sandusky, is charged with complicity to conveying contraband into a detention facility. Cheatham, the girlfriend of one of the inmates who consumed the furnished alcohol, allegedly provided it to Whitney L. Robinson, an Oriana House employee, knowing Robinson would bring it to the jail.

Robinson, 22, of Tiffin, has been charged with one count of complicity to illegal conveyance of prohibited items on the grounds of a detention facility.

Cheatham and Robinson's charges are second-degree misdemeanors, so they were issued summonses and released.

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