Two Polk County Sheriff's Office civilian detention employees were arrested Tuesday for conspiring with an inmate to introduce contraband into the jail, deputies say.
On Tuesday, 25-year-old Austin Guy of Winter Haven was arrested for seven counts of Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Compensation for Official Behavior (FSS 777.04(3)) (F3), seven counts of Unlawful Compensation for Official Behavior (FSS 838.016) (F2), and seven counts of a Public Servant Accepting a Bribe (FSS 838.015) (F2).
According to PCSO, 23-year-old Katheryn Krzyzanski of Sebring was also arrested for two counts of Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Compensation for Official Behavior (FSS 777.04(3)) (F3), two counts of Unlawful Compensation for Official Behavior (FSS 838.016) (F2), and two counts of a Public Servant Accepting a Bribe (FSS 838.015) (F2).
Deputies say Guy and Krzyzanski committed the crimes while employed at PCSO; Guy was a civilian Detention Support Specialist (DSS) and Krzyzanski was a civilian Food Service Specialist (FSS).
The sheriff's office says they both resigned immediately upon their arrests; had they not resigned, they would have been terminated.
On March 4, during a jail dormitory inspection at the South County Jail in Frostproof, detention deputies found contraband smokeless tobacco in the inmate trusty dormitory. Eight inmates were found to be in possession of the contraband. Detectives learned the contraband (tobacco, cigarettes, and possibly a cell phone) was being illegally brought into the jail and dispersed by an inmate.
The inmate, Herbert N. Williams (DOB 1/31/1985) was arrested by PCSO in 2019 for possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and 6 violation of probation charges related to grand theft and fraud. Williams is from Auburndale and is being held on no bond, per the VOP charges.
So far in the investigation, detectives have documented at least seven different incidents, between February 4 and March 18, where Guy coordinated with Williams to purchase cans of smokeless tobacco; Guy would purchase it and bring it into the secured jail facility, investigators said. He then hid the contraband in a predetermined location for inmate Williams to retrieve and distribute (sell) to other inmates. During these incidents, inmate Williams would contact people outside the jail to put money on Guy’s CashApp so that Guy would buy the tobacco, the investigation found.
Detectives have video of Guy buying the tobacco products at local convenience stores. Guy told detectives he does not personally use tobacco products. Through a preliminary review of the CashApp records and Guy’s personal property, detectives confirmed the CashApp deposits are connected to Guy’s account.
During the investigation, detectives interviewed Krzyzanski who admitted she was also conspiring with inmate Williams, and on at least two separate occasions received payment through CashApp to buy contraband products, including smokeless tobacco, for inmate Williams to distribute inside the jail.
Inmate Herbert Williams has been charged with nine counts of Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Compensation for Official Behavior (FSS 777.04(3)) (F3), nine counts of Benefiting from Unlawful Compensation for Official Behavior (FSS 838.016) (F2), and nine counts Bribing a Public Servant (FSS 838.015) (F2).
“This is a great example of how our system of checks and balances works at the Polk County Jail, Sheriff Grady Judd said. When inappropriate actions were discovered, supervision and detectives immediately took action to arrest those responsible.”
Guy was hired by PCSO in November 2019 as a Detention Support Specialist, working in the South County Jail in Frostproof. Krzyzanski was hired by PCSO in November 2019 as a Food Service Specialist, working in the South County Jail in Frostproof.