MERCER COUNTY Jail guards are lauded for finding handgun
The gun was found in an inmate's bag of medicines brought to the jail.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU
MERCER, Pa. -- Four corrections officers at the Mercer County jail have received commendations for preventing a handgun from inadvertently getting into the lockup.
James Epstein, county district attorney and president of the county prison board, said the gun was in a bag of medicines being delivered for a man who had been locked up on a retail theft charge.
The person carrying the bag didn't know it also contained a handgun, Epstein said.
Sgt. Albert Crosby and corrections officers Alan Robinowitz, Karla Tobias and Elizabeth Lovett were credited with discovering the weapon and assisting in the follow-up investigation launched by the sheriff's department, Epstein said.
They received commendations at Monday's prison board meeting.
The case unfolded Jan. 29 when Hermitage police brought a man to the jail on a retail theft charge, Epstein said.
The man, who was from New Castle but was staying at a house in Youngstown, was allowed to contact his daughter to bring a bag containing various medications from the house in Youngstown to the jail.
When the woman entered the jail, she handed the bag over to corrections officers for inspection and that's when the gun was found, Epstein said.
The investigation showed the woman didn't know the gun was in the bag and that her father didn't realize she was bringing the entire bag and its contents to the jail, Epstein said.
No charges were filed against anyone, he said.
In other business, the prison board authorized the jail warden to start a new eligibility list of corrections officer candidates to fill new positions that will be needed for a new jail being built.
The county has said as many as 10 additional officers will be needed.
Epstein said both full- and part-time positions will be created.