Paul Fleming, Prison Guard, Charged With Drug Trafficking

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A prison officer from B.C.'s maximum security Kent Institution was arrested Wednesday and faces drug trafficking charges. (Getty) | Getty Images

AGASSIZ, B.C. - A corrections officer at a maximum-security prison in British Columbia's Fraser Valley is facing charges over allegations related to drug trafficking into the facility.

The officer was arrested at Kent Institution, located east of Vancouver near Agassiz, early Boxing Day morning, the RCMP said Thursday in a news release. The RCMP said the drugs were believed to be marijuana and methamphetamine.

Paul Fleming, 42, has been charged with two counts of trafficking a controlled drug. He was released from custody on several conditions and will appear again on Jan. 29.

The Mounties provided few details about the incident, such as the amount of drugs allegedly trafficked, how long the alleged trafficking had occurred, or who the drugs were destined for.

Const. Tracy Wolbeck said in the news release that the investigation involved the RCMP and Correctional Service Canada.

"This partnership led to an arrest without incident, and the two agencies will continue to work together as this case moves through the court system," Wolbeck said.

Correctional Service Canada spokeswoman Tanis Kinney declined to provide details about the case, citing "privacy reasons."

In a written statement, Kinney said the federal corrections agency has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to illegal drugs, but she did not answer questions about the prevalence of drugs and drug trafficking in the prison system, particularly cases involving corrections officers.

"(Correctional Service Canada) works closely with local police agencies and communities to stop drugs from entering its institutions," said the statement.

Kent Institution, located about 140 east of Vancouver, is the only maximum-security facility in British Columbia. It houses 220 inmates, more than a third of whom are serving life sentences, according to Correctional Service Canada's website.

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