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Construction worker gave cigarettes to inmate, Putnam deputies say

Deputies: Leman Nixon passed pack of cigarettes into facility

Booking photo of Leman Nixon.
Booking photo of Leman Nixon.

PALATKA, Fla. – A construction worker who was working on the site of the Putnam County Jail expansion project has been charged after he allegedly gave cigarettes to an inmate, deputies said.

Leman Nixon, 52, has been charged with introduction of contraband into a correctional facility.

During routine facility security operations, corrections deputies discovered that a member of the construction crew was passing items of contraband through a fence to an inmate, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office said.

After discovering the smuggling efforts, corrections deputies teamed up with PCSO's drug and vice unit to conduct covert surveillance of the construction site.

Deputies conducting surveillance witnessed Nixon meeting with an inmate along the fence line. Nixon and the inmate were taken into custody.

Deputies said it was determined that Nixon passed a pack of cigarettes into the facility. Cigarettes are not allowed inside of the county jail and are considered illegal contraband, according to the Sheriff's Office.

"The successful resolution of this case and the arrest of Leman Nixon demonstrate the high level of security being provided by our corrections deputies, even under the most difficult circumstances presented by the ongoing construction project adjacent to the current jail," Sheriff Jeff Hardy said.

Nixon was arrested without incident and was booked into the county jail. Deputies said he is being held on a bond of $1,004. Nixon's construction employment was terminated.

The Sheriff's Office said the investigation is ongoing to determine if additional people are involved in efforts to smuggle items of contraband into the correctional facility.