The discovery of an attempt to smuggle narcotics and tobacco into the Polk County Jail have produced new gang-related charges against several people already incarcerated or newly arrested early this week.
The Polk County Sheriff Office's newly formed Gang Investigation Unit undertook their first investigation within the confines of the jail in a case that could continue to produce charges in the days to come.
Their efforts to find out who was responsible for the contraband have netted charges against two inmates already in the jail: Ronald Paul Jr. and David Crider, along with family members and friends including Crystal Bruce, Yvonne Paul, Elaine Van Camp and two others who deputies have yet to take into custody.
They all stand accused of participation in the smuggling attempt to get a small amount of Klonopin and tobacco into the jail on various charges, now including a charge listed as "unlawful for person employ/associate with criminal street gang to conduct/participate in criminal activity" along with several felony charges.
Gang charges were sought by the Sheriff's Office against the group due to the known affiliation of 25-year-old Ronald Paul Jr. with the Aryan Brotherhood, where he is reported to be a lieutenant.
The Aryan Brotherhood is the nation's oldest white supremacist prison gang, and one of the largest in the country.
They were able to establish connections over his participation in the gang through conversations Paul had with those charged and others involved through the jail's inmate phone system. Those included the conversations he had in order to setup the smuggling attempt into the jail.
The report stated the group relied on an 11-year-old to make the drop at the jail. The juvenile is not being charged in the attempt, Polk County Sheriff's Office's Capt. Scott Ford reported. The juvenile carried two bags to dumpsters near the bonding lobby at the jail, tossing one in the trash and leaving the other with the contraband sitting behind a dumpster for later retrieval.
Bruce, who brought the contraband to the jail and was supposed to get a gold necklace and keep some of the drugs purchased for the attempt for her own, never got the necklace.
Deputies reported the attempt went south for the group when an inmate on a work detail discovered the bag and alerted jail staff of what they found, which was then searched and confiscated before it was replaced with rubber gloves in an attempt to flush out who was responsible for the incident.
Video surveillance footage recorded during the incident was used to make further ties in the case to those who dropped off the pills and tobacco, and allow for initial arrests and charges filed against the group. Deputies in the Gang Investigation Unit also tracked down purchases of the tobacco from several different stores.
Ford said it took several weeks of effort - including during off hours for some deputies who volunteered to help - to gather up all the evidence, including listening to multiple phone conversations recorded prior to the August incident.
Though inmates have the privilege to make phone calls, they are all recorded in case of incidents where they utilize the telephone system to organize criminal activity outside of the Polk County Jail.
Investigators were able to determine that Paul organized the drop with Bruce and his mother, Yvonne Paul, who was the guardian of the 11-year-old who involved with the drop. Deputies were also able to uncover Crider's role in the case through phone conversations he also had with his mother, Elaine Van Camp, and with others who have yet to be arrested.
Ronald Paul Jr. was already in jail awaiting transfer to a residential treatment program for several previous incidents. He now faces additional charges of three counts of probation violation, use of a communication facility in committing or facilitating a felony act, conspiracy to commit a felony act, being party to a crime, three different counts of the gang-related charges, and interference with government property.
57-year-old Yvonne Paul faces charges for the first time since 2010 of crossing state or county guard lines with weapons, intoxicants, drugs without consent, conspiracy to commit a felony, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, two counts of the gang-related charges and giving inmates liquor, drugs, weapons, etc. without consent of the warden.
Bruce, 25, faced those charges including possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, use of a communication facility in committing or facilitating a felony act, abandonment of dangerous drugs and tobacco across the guard line.
61-year-old Van Camp was charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, use of a communication facility in committing or facilitating a felony act, possession with intent to distribute a schedule III, IV or V controlled substance and party to a crime.
Charges of giving inmates liquor, drugs, weapons, etc., without consent of the warden and the gang charge was also tacked on.
Her 42-year-old son Crider, also already in jail on previous charges, faces a pair of probation violation offenses plus a bench warrant and charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, use of a communication facility in committing or facilitating a felony act, party to a crime and the gang-related charge.