Ripley County Sheriff Jeff Cumberworth initiated an investigation of a jail officer trafficking with an inmate after he received a complaint Oct. 30, 2018, reported a probable cause affidavit written by Indiana State Police Detective R. Grant Martin and signed by Ripley Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Sharp Oct. 15, almost a year later.

“The initial report was that Ripley County Jail inmate Eric Schott had disclosed to Sheriff Cumberworth that jail employee William ‘Tiny’ Dreyer had delivered cellphones to him after one of the cellphones had been located inside the jail by another jail employee,” Martin said.

On Nov. 1, 2018, the detective and ISP Sgt. Tom Baxter met with the Greensburg man at the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office. Before questioning began, Dreyer admitted, “’I did bring the phone in, that’s it, that’s all l did.’” When the ISP employees asked him to elaborate, the jail officer said he had made an agreement with Schott and Courtney Miller to deliver cellphones into the jail.

Dreyer met with Miller outside the jail to receive the phones and charger in a Walmart bag Oct. 26, 2018. That same day, the jail officer, in uniform and on duty, delivered the bag containing cellphones and a charger to the inmate inside the jail cell area.

Dreyer was charged with official misconduct by a public servant, a Level 6 felony; and trafficking with an inmate, a Class A misdemeanor, according to a court document filed Oct. 15.

At the Oct. 16 initial hearing, the judge required a $1,000 cash bond, which was paid that day.

He scheduled two pretrial conferences for Nov. 26 at 11 a.m. and Feb. 24, 2020, at 3 p.m. A jury trial is set for March 17 at 9 a.m.

Dreyer was ordered to have no contact with the Ripley County Jail or any other detention center.

He is at least the second Ripley County Jail officer to be charged with official misconduct and trafficking with an inmate this year.

Darin Laird, Versailles, pled guilty Aug. 13 and was sentenced by Sharp Sept. 11 to 730 days on the first count and 180 on the second, to run concurrently in the Indiana Department of Correction.

At Laird’s sentencing hearing, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Shane Tucker argued that his dangerous actions not only put other jail officers at risk, but also the other inmates and the public at large.

Debbie Blank can be contacted at debbie.blank@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-717-3113.

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