Pubdate: Tue, 03 Apr 2007
Source: Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN)
Copyright: 2007 The Knoxville News-Sentinel Co.
Author: Ansley Haman


Scott County Sheriff Anthony Lay arrested and charged  one of his 
department's jailers Monday for selling  drugs to an inmate.

"This is the beginning of a clean-up at the Scott  County Sheriff's 
Department," Lay said this morning.

Lay organized an undercover sting after a prisoner  alleged that 
21-year-old Joshua Ryan Byrd, a jailer  since January, had offered to 
sell cigarettes and  drugs.

That prisoner was given $40 so he could request  marijuana, pills or 
cocaine from Byrd, the sheriff  said.

Sunday morning at 8:48 a.m., Byrd produced a  quarter-gram of cocaine 
as he transported the prisoner  in the jail's elevator, the sheriff said.

Yesterday, Byrd was forced to hand over his badge. He  was charged 
with introducing narcotics into a penal  facility, selling cocaine 
and selling pain pills.

"I hope that Mr. Byrd doesn't make other citizens in  the United 
States look down on law enforcement," Lay  said. "Mr. Byrd is a 
disgrace to law enforcement and a  disappointment to his co-workers."

In a voluntary statement, Byrd cited financial strain  from his low 
pay as a jailer as a motive for the sale.

"He said he was underpaid and he needed the extra money  to catch 
bills up," Lay said.

Starting salary for a jailer in Scott County is  $17,198. Lay said he 
began proceedings months ago to  get the county's commission to 
increase the salary of  his employees to "modern-day standards."

Byrd is being detained in Blount County due to his  former employment 
in the Scott County jail. He will  face a judge Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Elaine