Corrections cadet accused of attempting to smuggle contraband into Elayn Hunt Correctional Center

Corrections cadet accused of attempting to smuggle contraband into Elayn Hunt Correctional Center
Paige Destanie M. Ruiz, 21, of Prairieville, is accused of attempting to smuggle contraband into Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel, La. on Monday, July 13, 2020. (Source: Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections)

ST. GABRIEL, La. (WAFB) - A former corrections cadet at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center has been accused of attempting to smuggle contraband to inmates at the prison, according to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DOC).

Ken Pastorick, a DOC spokesperson, says officers at the prison arrested Paige Destanie M. Ruiz, 21, of Prairieville, on Monday, July 13.

Authorities say they were aware Ruiz was attempting to make a drop and stake out the prison.

Pastorick says investigators found a paper bag with six cell phones, 45 pieces of loose-leaf paper sprayed with a substance suspected to be synthetic cannabinoid enclosed in clear bags, a four-ounce clear bottle of a liquid substance suspected of being cough syrup with codeine, 250 pills suspected to be MDMA (ecstasy), three packs of tobacco, 42 Nugenix Total-T testosterone pills, five taped bundles of suspected illicit substances containing 200 grams, and 26 cell phone manuals with activation packages. She also had two cigars in her front pants pocket, according to Pastorick.

Investigators say they also found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol, several containers of alcohol, and one glass bottle of hand sanitizer inside of her car.

Ruiz was arrested and booked into the Iberville Parish Prison on eight counts of introduction of contraband into a penal institution, malfeasance in office, possession with intent to distribute MDMA, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute synthetic cannabinoids, and possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance.

Ruiz had been a probational employee at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center as a corrections cadet since May 11, 2020, according to Pastorick.

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