Former Pott. Co. detention officer arrested for trafficking contraband, drugs into the jail

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POTTAWATOMIE CO., Okla. - A former Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center detention officer is now an inmate in the jail he used to guard.

According to jail record, 21-year-old Braiden Hardwick is still behind bars after he allegedly brought cell phones, tobacco, and meth to the jail to sell to the inmates.

“You hire an individual with the belief they are going to uphold the same integrity and dedication to the job,” Pottawatomie County Jail Executive Director Rochelle Thompson told News 4. “It's- I'm disgusted with it.”

Thompson says they received information in early July that Hardwick was bringing contraband into the jail, and a few days later they made the arrest.

“I directed my jail investigator to be at the jail the day that Hardwick came back on duty, he had been on days off. Subsequently, he brought contraband into the jail and was arrested and terminated,” Thompson said. “With that information we received from Hardwick, we also did a search on his vehicle and found evidence to some of the things he had done.”

Thompson says Hardwick admitted to everything.

He was in court on Monday, and a judge set his bond at $40,000.

Thompson says the actions of one person don’t reflect on the jail as a whole.

“We expect that integrity, that professionalism, and to uphold the law,” Thompson said. “When you have an individual like this, that commits these crimes, it`s a tarnish on that integrity and it`s a tarnish on the badge. What I will say is we will clean our own house.”

Hardwick is facing counts of possession of a controlled substance, bringing a controlled substance into a jail, and receiving compensation from inmates.

His preliminary hearing is set for August 27th.

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