HICKMAN COUNTY, Tenn. — A visitor accused of smuggling drugs into a Tennessee Department of Correction facility is now facing murder charges after the overdose death of an inmate, according to a press release from the TDOC.
In February, Rachal Dollard was observed passing drugs to inmate Joshua Brown as the two exchanged a kiss during a visitation at the Turney Center Industrial Complex in Hickman County, the TDOC said.
Brown swallowed a balloon pellet containing half an ounce of methamphetamine. He later died at a local hospital, according to the TDOC.
"Contraband poses a threat to the safety of the population and to the security of the facility," said the assistant commissioner of prison operations in TDOC.
Dollard was taken into custody this past weekend on a warrant from a sealed indictment in Hickman County. She is being held in the Hickman County jail on charges of second-degree murder and introduction to a penal facility, the TDOC said.
“This incident points to the real dangers of introducing contraband into prisons and the consequences that follow,” Director of TDOC’s Office of Investigations and Conduct David Imhof said. “Our agency will pursue prosecution against any individual who threatens the safety and security of our staff, the men and women in our custody, and our facilities.”
Dodson said he's witnessed the many avenues people take to get drugs in.
"There were a few times where people were flying drones over the facilities to try to drop items," Dodson said. "We do have people that would be visiting the facility for a legitimate reason that try to introduce contraband."
But, if those drug smugglers are caught, TDOC said it won't be a happy ending for them.
"We want to make sure that we prosecute those folks to the fullest extent of the law, whether it be state prosecution, or whether it be working with our federal law enforcement partners," Dodson said.
Rachel Dollard and her alleged 'kiss of death' is no exception.
TDOC said the victim was serving an 11-year sentence on drug-related charges. His sentence was set to expire in 2029.