The Duncan Banner

August 6, 2013

Fired jailer arrested in Alfalfa County

Guard accused of trying to sneak contraband into jails

Mike Smith
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — A Stephens County jailer fired and charged for allegedly trying to bring contraband into the jail in Duncan was arrested and charged around the same time for trying to get drugs, tobacco and other items into a state prison in Alfalfa County.

Desiree Ann Spence, 26, of Duncan, and Danny Eugene Paulin Jr., 42, of Duncan, were arrested on May 8 for allegedly trying to sneak packages of pipe tobacco, alprazolam pills, a cell phone and clothes, into the Crabtree Correctional Center in Alfalfa County in northwestern Oklahoma.

Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety and other disorders and is considered a controlled substance in the U.S.

Their arrests occurred two days after Paulin was released on a different charge from the Stephens County Jail where Spence worked as a detention officer, according to court records. It was also two days after a May 6 incident that led to Spence and another Stephens County jailer being fired and charged.

Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney disclosed last week that Spence and detention officer Justin Cloud, 25, of Duncan were arrested, charged and fired on the same day several weeks ago for conspiring to bring contraband into the Stephens County jail.

McKinney also revealed that his office was conducting an internal investigation into jail activities that could lead to more firings, more charges or perhaps no further action.

 He discussed the matter privately last week with Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks and the Board of Stephens County Commissioners, but declined further comment.

Efforts to contact McKinney were unsuccessful.

According to court records, Spence and Cloud conspired to sneak a can of snuff to an inmate in the Stephens County Jail. Each of them pleaded not guilty and was freed on bond.

 Court records show that on May 8, Spence and Paulin were arrested for allegedly trying to get contraband into the medium-security prison in Alfalfa County.

 Each was charged with one misdemeanor and one felony.

 Court records show the misdemeanor count against Spence was dismissed and she entered a deferred guilty plea to the felony charge, meaning it could be dismissed if she stays out of trouble for five years. She paid a $500 fine in connection with the felony charge plus other costs.

 Paulin was freed on $5,000 bond and has since been appointed an attorney from the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, records show.

 According to the arrest affidavit, Spence and Paulin drove up to Helena, Oklahoma – about 20 miles northwest of Enid – and Paulin tried to toss a bag of contraband over the Crabtree prison fence. He and Spence were spotted by prison guards who called dispatch.

 The two gave police conflicting accounts of who led who to the location.

 Spence said Paulin had persuaded her to give him a ride and she did so because she “had a soft heart,” according to the affidavit.

 Paulin said Spence had called his mother repeatedly after he got out of the Stephens County Jail and ultimately persuaded him to go out to dinner, but later got him to try throwing a package over the prison fence. The package didn’t make it over and he said he got scared and tossed a second package in a dumpster.

 Both packages were found.