PUNTA GORDA — A now-former mental health worker at the Charlotte Correctional Institution was arrested Saturday after allegedly smuggling cigarettes, a SIM card, and a love letter to a prison inmate when she worked there.
It’s the second arrest of an employee for bringing contraband into the prison in about a week. A guard was accused of smuggling nine cell phones in her underwear last week.
“The FDC takes the introduction of contraband into secure facilities very seriously,” said Florida Department of Corrections Press Secretary Rob Klepper. “These actions will not be tolerated and the FDC Office of Inspector General is to be commended for their diligence in enforcing these violations.”
Kaitlyn Robertson, an employee of FDC mental health contractor, Centurion, admitted to law enforcement she had the SIM card inside two letters and a box of cigarettes of brand name 305’s, in her pocket when she entered the facility at approximately 7:30 a.m. on March 14, according to a report.
During the search, she took the pack of cigarettes out and put it in her shoe to go through the metal detector, she said. Staff are allowed to enter the institution with one unopened pack of cigarettes for personal use, according to the affidavit.
Once inside, she left the items for inmate Carlos Flores inside a trash can, the affidavit stated. She told the investigator she had been in a romantic relationship with Flores, which included sexual contact, for a couple months.
When Flores was searched later in the day, a sergeant found an unknown object in his waistband, near the front of his pants. A correction officer removed a clear piece of plastic bag from his waistband and discovered the cigarettes, SIM card, and two handwritten notes.
One of the notes stated there were multiple SIM cards because the letter writer was unsure which SIM card works on the phone. The letter went on to write about sexual contact, according to the affidavit.
When investigators spoke with Flores at the south Florida Reception Center, he denied having any type of relationship with Robertson. He stated on the day he was found with the contraband, he found the pack of cigarettes in the trash, and while being searched, a SIM card fell to the ground. He refused to provide a formal statement and stated he had nothing more to say on the matter.
Video from the date of the incident reportedly captured Robertson placing the pack of cigarettes into her right shoe prior to the items going through the x-ray machine. She then proceeded into the back room for a pat search. When she came out, she removed the pack of cigarettes and placed it back into her pocket.
Robertson had been an employee of Centurion since May 14, 2018. She no longer works for Centurion or at the jail.
A warrant for her arrest for four counts of introduction of contraband into a state correctional facility was signed on May 16.
According to the Florida Department of Corrections, she turned herself into the Charlotte County Jail. She was booked into the jail on Friday and was released Saturday after posting $25,000 bond.
Flores is serving a life sentence in prison for a first degree murder charge out of Orange County in 2001. He is now in custody at Holmes Correctional Institution, according to the Department of Corrections.