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Ronald Lewis

Source: Harris County Jail / HARRIS COUNTY

A Texas attorney was arrested for allegedly smuggling narcotics to inmates while making work-related visits to a county jail.

According to AP, Ronald Lewis, 77, was arrested Friday for smuggling legal paperwork laced with ecstasy and synthetic marijuana to inmates at the Harris County Jail in Houston. During his arrest, Lewis was caught with 11 sheets of paper that authorities believe were laced with narcotics.

Ronald Lewis was charged with two counts of bringing a prohibited substance into a correctional facility. He was arrested after a lengthy investigation by the jail-based Criminal Investigations and Security Division, which was created to get a handle on the increase in drug overdoses at the county jail. 

After two inmates died from what officials believe were drug-released deaths, investigators received information about narcotics being smuggled into the facility through paperwork that was sprayed or dipped with a chemical compound, according to sheriff’s office Lt. Jay Wheeler.

Officials believe that from July until November, Ronald Lewis visited 14 inmates, whom he allegedly provided with sheets of drug-laced papers, disguised as legal documents. Authorities believe Lewis was paid anywhere from $250 to $500 per transaction. Police said they confiscated 154 sheets of laced drug paper.

Wheeler also said that authorities trying to figure out if Ronald Lewis’ drugs caused any deaths. According to AP, the county jail has had 18 inmate deaths this year, some of which are drug-related. 

“We’re currently working with the Texas Rangers to determine if any of the narcotics introduced in the jail by Mr. Lewis contributed to the death of any inmate,” Wheeler said.

To curb the flow of illegal drugs, the sheriff’s office will also move its system to digital inmate documents, including legal paperwork and letters.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that police suspect other attorneys might also be involved, but “don’t think it’s actually widespread,” said Gonzalez. “We’re going to continue to raise the bar and do everything we can to make sure that we’re keeping a safe facility, as safe as possible.”

He continued, “There’s incredible attorneys out there that uphold their oaths and work very hard to take care of their clients and make sure that they’re representing them effectively. “There’s always going to be those that choose illegal ways of doing things … and if they are, it doesn’t matter who they are. We’re going to make sure we investigate it fully and hold them accountable.”


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