Former Corrections Officer Pleads Guilty to Meth Distribution Inside Minnesota Prison
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A former corrections officer has pleaded guilty to her role in distributing methamphetamine within the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater.
Prosecutors said 24-year-old Faith Gratz, a former MCF-Stillwater corrections officer, and 34-year-old Axel Kramer, an inmate who is serving a 288-month sentence for second-degree murder, conspired with each other to distribute methamphetamine within MCF-Stillwater, Minnesota’s largest high-security prison facility.
Court documents say Kramer obtained wholesale quantities of prepacked methamphetamine from sources of supply outside the prison.
After Kramer and another inmate worked with the drug suppliers to arrange meet-up times and locations, Gratz would pick up the drug packages. Gratz then used her position as a prison guard to smuggle the drugs into the facility and provide the drugs to Kramer while she was on duty guarding him.
Gratz did this on approximately six different occasions.
The former correction officers also smuggled multiple cell phones into the prison that she provided to Kramer. Kramer used the cell phones to communicate with people inside and outside the prison and to facilitate his drug distribution network from within the prison.
Court documents also say that Gratz and Kramer exchanged hundreds of text messages with each other. The messages included information about the drug distribution conspiracy as well as discussions about their romantic relationship. Gratz also warned Kramer about upcoming searches of inmates’ cells.
On April 8, after recovering Kramer’s cell phone, law enforcement officers confronted Gratz about the drug distribution operation. Officers searched Gratz’s car and recovered a half pound of methamphetamine.
Gratz pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a date.