Mothers charged with smuggling drugs into Claiborne County Jail

Elaine Marie Hopson (Left), Wanda Eloise Gibson (Right), Claiborne County Sheriff's Office

TAZEWELL (WATE) – After a two-week investigation, Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray said several people were charged with attempting to smuggle illegal drugs and contraband into the Claiborne County Jail.

The investigation lead to the mothers of two inmates, according to Sheriff Ray. Wanda Eloise Gibson, 62, and Elaine Marie Hopson, 56, were charged with criminal conspiracy and introduction of contraband into a penal facility.

Sheriff Ray said items recovered were illegal suboxone strips and some other contraband items. Also, charged were inmates Benjamin Wayne Hopson, 29, Christopher Levi Ramsey, 29, and Anthony Wayne Dean, 38.

Dan Lawrence Rice, 45 was also charged and arrested. Sheriff Ray said Rice was not incarcerated at the time of the violation. Rice was charged with possession of schedule III controlled substance for sale or delivery, violation of the drug-free school zone act, criminal trespassing and evading arrest.

“The Sheriff’s Department and Corrections Officers will continue to monitor all efforts to anyone who may attempt smuggling items into the Claiborne County Jail will be identified and prosecuted to the fullest,” said Sheriff Ray.

The defendants are scheduled to appear in general sessions court on December 15. If convicted, they could face 3-15 years in state prison.


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