Fulton County Sheriff’s Office searching for employee they say tried bringing drugs into jail

ATLANTA — Fulton County police are searching for a medical assistant they say attempted to bring contraband into the jail Saturday afternoon.

The employee, 24-year-old TreQuera Lashell Ford, arrived at the jail on Saturday before her shift.

Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln has learned Ford was having prior communication with inmates before she was caught with drugs.

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Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat told Lincoln the search for Ford has been ongoing since Saturday.

“We will not tolerate anyone bringing contraband in,” he said.

Labat said Ford, a contracted medical assistant for the jail, ran out of the facility Saturday after she was questioned about returning to work smelling like marijuana.

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She drove away in a black Nissan Altima with a Tennessee tag, 75A-R44.

A captain asked Ford if she had marijuana on her after smelling a strong odor.

The captain said Ford told her no.

However, Ford did tell the captain she had been smoking in her car with the windows down before coming to work.

“When I read that she admitted to smoking, I found that to be astonishing,” Labat said.

Images on Ford’s Instagram page shows her showcasing marijuana, something that now has her facing five felony charges.

Deputies searched her bag and found 6.8 ounces of marijuana, 20 grams of suspected crack cocaine, 200 cigarettes and loose tobacco.

“It’s a sad day for law enforcement when this happens,” Labat said.

Deputies also have a recorded phone call, allegedly between one or two inmates in which she says, “Bought saran wrap and coffee -- I know what I’m doing,” she’s heard saying.

Labat said some people use those items in an attempt to mask the scent of drugs.

“We want to make sure that we keep our community as safe as possible, please submit a tip on our Sheriff’s app,” Labat said.

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Ford is charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute; possession of marijuana with intent to distribute; purchase, possession manufacture distribution or sale of marijuana, crossing guard lines of jail with prohibited items, obstruction of a law enforcement officer and fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.

“We have zero tolerance for anyone attempting to smuggle contraband into the Fulton County Jail,” Sheriff Patrick “Pat” Labat said. “There is an expectation and legal requirement that individuals, who are contractors providing services at the Jail, obey the law and work to maintain the safety of the facility and not put others at risk. When someone violates that trust and the law, we are obligated to file criminal charges. I commend that sharp deputy for her good instincts.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the FCSO.

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