An Arkansas Department of Correction employee was arrested Tuesday after trying to smuggle drugs into a prison facility.


Shakari Johnson, 27, from Lake Village, worked at the Varner Unit and was flagged when she went through an x-ray machine while reporting for duty on Tuesday. The machine showed an “abnormality,” according to Arkansas State Police Special Agent Billy McCradic, who presented a probable cause affidavit in Jefferson County District Court Wednesday.


Another corrections employee conducted a strip search of Johnson and removed a large object wrapped in black tape and covered with a condom from Johnson’s genital area.


McCradic reported that Johnson was detained, and when questioned, admitted bringing in contraband, which she said she was to give to another corrections officer. She also said she was to receive $1,500 and that she did not know what was in the bundle.


When the bundle was unwrapped, officers found a clear plastic baggie containing 58 grams of a white powder suspected to be methamphetamine. They also located another plastic wrapped bundle that contained four smaller plastic bundles of suspected marijuana. The substance was field tested and determined to be synthetic cannabinoids and weighed approximately 56 grams.


Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set a $10,000 bond for Johnson after ruling prosecutors have probable cause to charge her with furnishing prohibited articles and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.


Johnson said she would hire her own attorney.